St. Louis Police Murder Another Black Youth in a Barrage of Bullets: This MUST STOP NOW!

October 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

On October 8, St. Louis, Missouri police shot multiple times and killed a young Black man on the south side of St. Louis. An off duty cop working as security, in his St. Louis police uniform, pursued four young Black men who had come out of a store, chased them down and shot and killed Vonderrit Myers Jr. People on the scene said they heard a barrage of gunfire. They estimated 16-17 shots fired.

Immediately this went out on social media. The brave and defiant Black youth hit the streets and were on the murder scene, chanting and calling out the police. It was an intense and volatile situation. Other people who had been protesting at the Ferguson police station jumped in their cars and took off to the murder site. Within a very short time, they were joined by many young people from that south side St. Louis neighborhood. Ministers were there to join in protesting the killing. The crowd was multinational—many white young men and women joined the protest. This was a welcome development. The south side had not been a place where people had expected protest against police murder. In the face of yet another infuriating, unjust murder of a Black youth, it is very important that people are standing up.

The family of Vonderrit Myers Jr. arrived on the scene of the killing and spoke out. A cousin, Teyonna Myers, said, “It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”

The authorities are putting out various stories about what happened. Relatives of Vonderrit Myers Jr. who came to the scene disputed the police version. Family members said he didn't have a weapon. According to Jackie Williams, “My nephew was coming out of a store from purchasing a sandwich… I don’t know how this happened, but they went off and shot him 16 times. That’s outright murder.”

A neighbor who lives in the area and happened upon the scene said he heard 14 or 15 shots as he was in his car. “When I pulled up I saw the cop standing over him (Myers) then he pointed the gun at everyone else telling everyone to get back while he was searching for another clip.” He heard others nearby telling the officer, “You killed my friend.” A resident who lives in the Shaw neighborhood said his son was with Myers on Wednesday night. "They have been harassing him all day like they do all the time, pulling him over, stopping him. That's how it is. They harass the kids in the neighborhood. Our kids walk around in their own neighborhood and get harassed for it."

This murder took place in the context of a wave of police assaulting, choking, brutalizing, terrorizing, and shooting down young Black and Latino men. For holding their hands up in the air saying “Don’t shoot!" like Michael Brown … for being suspected of selling loose cigarettes like Eric Garner… for having mental health issues like Kajieme Powell … for supposedly not having seat belts fastened and the list goes on and on and on. Here’s the situation: It has become a daily fact of life that Black youth face daily harassment and even have to fear for their lives, and face the danger of summary execution by police at any time, for doing anything, or nothing.

As word spread, the crowd grew to 200-300 people. In the mix Revolution newspaper and the Call for the October Month of Resistance got out. Chants of “Fuck the police,” “No Justice No Peace,” and banner and signs that said “Black Lives Matter,” “Quit Killing Black People,” and “Day 60, Indict Now!” were seen and heard.  A police car was surrounded by protesters and damaged during ensuing demonstrations; windows broke, back light kicked out, and people pounded on the car. The cop car managed to get out.

Many of the people had been influenced by the murder of Mike Brown, others said that this was their first time out in the streets. Some we had met at Peace Fest around the time of Mike Brown’s murder. One guy said he had been at a book club when the murder occurred. They broke up their meeting as soon as they heard and got into the streets.

People at the site are not buying the police story; if a young Black man is shot, people are filled with anger over this happening time and time again. Mike Brown was unarmed when he was gunned down by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on Aug. 9, and his death set off a defiant righteous rebellion and has had national and international impact. A grand jury, which has been nothing but a cover-up, has refused to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, who shot Mike Brown. It’s been 61 days since Mike Brown was murdered and there has not been an indictment. Protesters have spent more time in jail than the murdering pig Darren Wilson.

The shooting took place as the St. Louis area prepared for a planned “Weekend of Resistance.” That whole weekend is shaping up to be very significant. Many people from around the country will be pouring into Ferguson and the St. Louis area. As part of that, the National October Month of Resistance to Stop Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation will be marching in a contingent, building a national movement and building and spreading for October 22nd, the National Day of Protest against Police Brutality. Some of us are inviting and challenging people to come to the historic dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on November 15 in NYC at the Riverside Church.

Hands Up Coalition and others organizers have scheduled protest marches, acts of civil disobedience and, on Sunday night, a mass meeting at Chaifetz Arena, which is on the campus of Saint Louis University, with Cornel West and others.

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