Protests in St. Louis turned violent last night after people stormed the streets demanding justice for the killing of 18-year-old Vonderrit D. Myers, who was shot 17 times by an unidentified off-duty police officer this week. Rioters reportedly burned American flags, vandalized businesses and people’s personal property and a knife was allegedly thrown at police officers, hitting one in the shoulder, reports The Blaze.
This marked the second night of protests in the city. Residents reportedly gathered on the streets and shouted, “No justice, no peace” and “We pay you. You’re our employees,” reports CNN.
Myers was reportedly struck seven or eight times by bullets, according to a St. Louis medical examiner, who said all but one gun shot hit his lower extremities, and that the bullet that killed him hit him in the head. Police claim the teen, who walking with two friends on the street at the time of the incident, shot at the cop three times and that he retaliated in self-defense. Myers’ family, however, denies the young man had a weapon. They say the officer mistook a sandwich he was holding in one hand for a gun.
“It’s a clear case of this young man being gunned down by an insensitive white officer who was off duty,” said Akbar Muhammad, who belongs to a coalition seeking justice for the shooting of teen Michael Brown in Ferguson this summer.
Two people were arrested at last night’s protest and one police officer is reportedly suffering minor injuries after a police car was damaged during the riots. Police reportedly used mace on some of the protesters, reports USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says he believes his force handled the violence well.
“I think the officers showed a tremendous amount of restraint,” he said.
Protesters are now burning American flags. https://t.co/I9j4xHoif5— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 10, 2014
Burning flag is now being waved by protester. https://t.co/ACIsshDC7R— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 10, 2014