Other Missouri Police Shootings before Mike Brown

I want to take a look at Ferguson before it became a national story.  I find it important to go back and see what was happening before the media shines a spotlight on a situation, and what happens after the spotlight goes somewhere else (some examples include natural disasters like Haiti’s earthquake and include wars like Libya, which haven’t ended even though US media has left.  See here for 2013 examples and here for 2010).

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch put together a great map (of an awful topic) documenting homicides as of October 21 2014 (not all of them are shootings, but lists some beatings, stabbings, arson as well)

This map gives details on homicides in the St. Louis area in 2014. 


Yellow: St. Louis city murders.

Red: St. Charles, Jefferson and St. Louis County murders.
Light blue: Metro East murders.
Purple: Murders the Post-Dispatch covered despite them having occurred on fringe or outside of newspaper’s coverage area.
Green: Homicides ruled to be justified.
Brown: Fatal shootings by police.

I counted 199 homicides listed on the map as of October 21. (see blog post here)

Violence was an issue before Mike Brown was killed.  There were police shootings, criminal shootings, community vigils against violence, all before the media arrived.

NOTE: the above map lists only homicides, but articles below are A) edited by me and B) not all shootings lead to death and therefore are not listed above.  I am only documenting police shootings below.

1) December 19, 2013 St. Louis police chief calls for FBI probe into officer-involved shooting

ST. LOUIS • Fact: Cary Ball was a convicted felon carrying a loaded gun about 9:45 p.m. April 24.
Fact: Ball, 25, fled from St. Louis police, crashed a car at Cole and Ninth streets near the Edward Jones Dome and ran.
Fact: Ball died after two St. Louis police officers shot him 21 times at Eighth and Carr streets.
Unknown: Why did the observations of multiple witnesses conflict with each other and the officers’ account?
Investigators interviewed about a dozen people, with about half saying they saw at least part of the shooting.


But no civilian witness reported seeing Ball point the gun at the officers. There is no video of what happened.

The department’s investigation concluded Nov. 15 that the officers were justified in killing Ball after he pointed a .40 caliber Glock at them.


in a rare move, Police Chief Sam Dotson has requested that the FBI review his department’s handling of the case. He also met with Ball’s mother, Toni Taylor, and gave her a copy of the police report.

“Some paths are very clear to me, and with this one, I want to make certain that we are right,” Dotson said in a recent interview.

Finishing his first year as chief, Dotson said he had never made this kind of request before and believed it had happened only a few times in the department’s history.


Taylor clings to a certificate her son earned before his death as proof that he had turned his life around. It declares Ball an “Emerging Scholar” at Forest Park Community College, because of his 3.86 grade-point average.

The day he was supposed to receive the certificate, he was buried. 

2) February 12, 2014 Police Shooting

ST. LOUIS • Police shot and killed a man they said pointed a gun at them earlier today near Calvary Cemetery. The man was identified tonight as Stephon Averyhart, 27.


They came around a corner and saw the man pointing his gun at them. Two officers, “in fear of their safety” opened fire, according to a police department account of the incident.

The man was hit in the head. He was alive when taken to the hospital, died from his injuries, police said.

Police recovered a gun and narcotics from the scene.

The officers were not injured. The department identified them as a 35-year-old officer with 10½ years on the force and a 32-year-old officer with eight years on the force. The officers were placed on administrative leave, as is department policy in officer-involved shootings.

3) February 13, 2014 Police Shooting

JENNINGS • A 39-year-old Jennings man who was shot by St. Louis County police has been criminally charged after police say he fired at them Wednesday during an undercover drug investigation.


Three officers then converged on the drug deal wearing badges and vests identifying them as police officers and tried to arrest George, when he drew a pistol from his waistband and pointed it at them. The officers then chased George on foot before George opened fire on them, according to the documents.

Officers then returned fire, striking George, who was then taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries and is currently in stable condition, police said.

Police recovered about 56 grams of marijuana and a gun from George.

4) February 13, 2014 Police Shooting

ST. LOUIS • A man who robbed a convenience store next to a St. Louis police substation was shot by police after a brief car and foot chase Thursday evening, police said.
No officers were hurt, and the suspect, in his early 20s, was shot at least twice and was in stable condition at a hospital, said St. Louis Police Captain Michael Sack.


Another police car was on the scene for an unrelated call.  The suspect saw that police car and got out of his vehicle and ran, flourishing a gun and turning towards officers, Sack said.  Three of the four officers at the scene fired shots and the suspect fired back, hitting him in the hip, thigh, back and hand.

Police recovered the gun as well as cash believed to be stolen from the store, Sack said.  

This is the third officer-involved shooting in the St. Louis area in two days. On Wednesday, St. Louis police said they fatally shot Stephen Averyhart, 27, after he pointed a gun at them during a chase.

On Wednesday night, St. Louis County detectives shot a man in Jennings during a drug investigation. Police opened fire on Brothel George, 39, after they said he pointed a handgun at them. He was in stable condition Thursday.

“It’s a situation not created by our officers,” Sack said. “The officers certainly have a right to defend themselves, as well as protect the citizens of the neighborhood. It’s a dangerous job.”

April 17, 2014 Murder charge filed against accomplice of robber killed by St. Louis County police (yes that’s right, he was charged with murder after police shot his accomplice after a robbery)

Jabari Quarles, of St. Louis, was charged with murder after his alleged accomplice in a robbery was fatally shot by police.

FENTON • Police say Claudell Webb Jr. and Jabari A. Quarles tied up two workers inside a Fenton check cashing store Wednesday morning during a robbery before one of the fleeing robbers pointed a gun at St. Louis County police officers and was fatally shot.

Webb, 23, of the 200 block of Meadowcrest Drive in Ferguson, was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the shooting, police said.


Police said the robbers showed weapons, tied up two store workers inside the store and took cash and car keys. Court documents say the suspects were confronted by arriving St. Louis County officers outside the store when Webb pulled out a Tec-9 with an extended clip holding 30 rounds.
During a struggle with police, an officer shot Webb once in the chest, killing him, police said. Police recovered Webb’s gun at the scene.
Quarles surrendered peacefully, police said.

5) April 17, 2014 Police Shooting

ST. CHARLES • A 52-year-old man was shot and killed by a St. Charles police officer Wednesday night, police say.


Witnesses told police that the man, who has been identified as Martin G. Brown, was threatening neighbors.  He had set off fireworks, which caused a fire, police said.

When officers arrived on scene, Brown began threatening them with a knife and a handgun.  Police tried to negotiate with the man, telling him to drop the weapons. When he did not comply, officers used a Taser on Brown, but it was ineffective.

Brown continued to threaten the officers and moved toward them with the weapons, and an officer shot him.

Brown was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. No officers were injured.

The police officer who shot Brown was a 13-year veteran; he was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.

6) April 30, 2014 Police shooting

(KMOV.com) – Police say two suspects are in custody after an officer shot one of them following a robbery at a north St. Louis McDonald’s restaurant Wednesday night.
According to police, a 21-year-old man was armed with a gun when he held up the McDonald’s restaurant.


Witnesses told police the suspect jumped over a fence behind a nearby business. Officers responded to the 4900 block of San Francisco, where they found the suspect running west with a gun in his hand.

The officers chased the suspect, who turned around and pointed a gun towards them. The suspect refused to drop his weapon and officers opened fire, hitting the suspect several times. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition. His gun, two fully loaded magazine clips and money was recovered.

June 3, 2014 Police brutality, filming the police

ST. CHARLES • A man who said he used his iPhone to record St. Charles police interacting with an upset woman has filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming that officers illegally detained and assaulted him, and erased the video from his phone.


The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on behalf of Kyle Hamilton, 26, formerly of St. Charles. It seeks unspecified financial damages and costs of the suit.

Hamilton, who now lives in New York, alleges that St. Charles and two officers identified in court documents only as “John Doe” and “Jane Roe” violated his rights on Aug. 16, 2013, as he stood with friends on a public sidewalk along Main Street.

“It’s a situation where I know the law and I wish — I would hope — that those that enforce the law are also aware of it,” Hamilton said in an interview Tuesday.

He said he started recording after observing a St. Charles officer chase after a woman on Main Street and push her to the pavement.


One of the officers, on horseback, saw Hamilton recording and grabbed him by his shirt collar, “choking him, bruising his neck and ripping his shirt,” the suit says.

7) July, 5, 2014 Police Shooting

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A Pine Lawn police officer fatally shot a man who fled after a traffic stop and then struggled with the officer, St. Louis County Police said Saturday.

Police have not released the name of the man who died. (BiasedReporter’s note: He was ID’ed here on July 7)

County Police detectives are handling the investigation of the shooting that happened about 3 a.m. near Interstates 170 and 70.

St. Louis County Police Sgt. Colby Dolly gave this account of what happened:

The incident started in Pine Lawn with a traffic stop along westbound Interstate 70 and Jennings Station Road. After police stopped a car with a wanted person alert on the license plate, the car prematurely left the scene and a Pine Lawn officer pursued the car until it crashed on Interstate 170 at the Interstate 70 interchange.

The driver then ran with and the officer ran after him, Dolly said. The officer was able to catch the driver and a struggle ensued when the officer tried to take him in custody. During the struggle, the officer shot the driver.

8) July 9, 2014 Police Shooting

A St. Charles man who called 911 early this morning insisting police show up at a Granite City gas station was fatally shot by the arriving officers who say the man pointed a gun at them.
“The individual calling was obviously distraught and requested police for an unknown reason,” said Master Sgt. Mark Doiron with the Illinois State Police.
Police arrived at the Phillips 66 station, at 3215 Edwardsville Road, shortly after the 4:12 a.m. emergency call came in. Two officers found Stephen S. Minch, 45, sitting in his vehicle, parked behind the station.
“They pulled up not really knowing what they had, and one of the officers saw that the suspect had a pistol,” said Doiron. “They ordered him to drop it several times and he began raising it in the direction of the officers.”
Concerned for their safety, the officers shot Minch multiple times and he died at the scene, Doiron said. The officers were not injured, and the gas station was not open at the time.
Illinois State Police took over the investigation since the shootings involved two officers with Granite City Police, the agency that first responded.

July 25, 2014 Black cop who broke man’s fingers was arrested, charged, unlike Darren Wilson (via Blog Post on Metrolink contract)

Dawon Gore, a St. Louis County police officer, was charged with assault after allegedly hitting a man with his baton without cause.

A veteran St. Louis County police officer was arrested Friday morning and charged with assault for allegedly using his baton to hit a man in the hand after an argument in April while he was working security for MetroLink.
Dawon Gore, who has been on the St. Louis County police force 13 years, was charged with second-degree assault. Bail was set at $3,500, cash-only.


Gore hit Wilson so hard, court documents allege, that Wilson suffered three broken fingers and required surgery.

Gore took Wilson into the MetroLink platform office, held him there for 90 minutes and refused to get medical attention for him, Belmar said. Then, Gore took him home.

Gore didn’t tell his supervisor about the incident or write a police report, Belmar said.

again see difference compared to Darren Wilson, “Authorities said they won’t release the video to reporters because it is evidence in the case”

“This alleged unprovoked use of force outside the bounds of department policy and without cause cannot be tolerated,” the chief said.

Second-degree assault is a felony in Missouri, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Video surveillance and information from witnesses helped make the case against Gore, authorities say. Authorities said they won’t release the video to reporters because it is evidence in the case. The video showed Gore and Wilson on the platform, but the alleged attack took place out of the view of the camera, authorities say.

See interview with Dawon Gore here (interviewed by Cassandra)

From the interview

Officer Darren Wilson is White, I am a Black Officer. Wilson didn’t do a report, I also chose not to do a report. Both subjects were black males, Wilson’s subject had cigars but was unarmed and my subject was found not to be armed as well. Wilson drew a weapon (gun), and I drew my metal baton.

9, 10) September 5, 2014 Two police shootings in Granite City justified, grand jury says

GRANITE CITY • Two officer-involved shootings here earlier this year — one fatal and one not — were justified, according to Madison County grand jury findings released Friday.
In one case, Officers Timothy Bedard and Ryan Jones fatally shot Stephen S. Minch, 45, of St. Charles, on July 9, officials said. Minch had pointed a gun at them from a car and refused to put it down, according to a statement from State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.
Officials said Minch called 911 to call officers to the Easy Stop service station, 3215 Edwardsville Road, about 4:12 a.m. on July 9. Investigators said police believed Minch was distraught.
The report of the grand jury’s unanimous vote noted that under Illinois law, an officer can use deadly force “when he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or such other person.”
In the other instance, about 2:42 p.m. on Aug. 2, Officer Jason Schaefer wounded Thomas E. Noser, 52, with two shots in an encounter at 2444 Delmar Avenue when Noser refused orders to drop a knife. Noser had just used a baseball bat to beat his mother, 76, and another relative, a man, 38, officials claimed.
Noser is charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and aggravated domestic battery.

Wrongful Arrests
April 26, 2014

jail records obtained by the newspaper last week show that police and jailers knew within nine days that they had arrested and incarcerated Jones on another man’s warrant. Yet they continued to hold him for two months more.


Jones was one of about 100 men and women identified in a Post-Dispatch investigation to have been jailed by mistake in the city in recent years, some of them for months.


Jones was arrested Nov. 7, 2009 (continued) He also was booked as Mark Crumble, who was wanted for violating probation, on the assumption that he might have been Crumble using Jones as an alias.
In a deposition, Jones said it marked the second time that night, and the third time in a week, that authorities mistook him for Crumble. The first two times he was released.
Jones said he and Crumble look nothing alike. “He had a big face and looked totally different from me. The only thing that was the same was the skin color,” he told lawyers.
He claimed a police officer once told him, “You all look alike.”

Mentally Ill
April 8, 2014

There were three community protests (from December 2013 to May 2014) against criminal gun violence (“black on black crime”), one is an annual vigil that is 22 years old.

Community leaders, clergy, politicians speak out against gun violence (that media usually ignores)
December 31, 2013
The vigil, the 22nd Annual New Year’s Eve Candlelight Service, was again held at Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, 1500 Union Boulevard.
The event was begun by Jeanette Culpepper, whose son was murdered 22 years ago.


The crowd included parents, siblings, grandparents and friends of those who had died violent deaths in 2013 or previous years. Also in attendance were police officers, clergy, judges, aldermen and representatives of community groups.
The event included the reading of the names by candlelight of everyone who died by violence in the city — 120 in 2013, seven more than 2012 — and 20 in St. Louis County in 2013. Victims included infants and the elderly.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay began his remarks by recalling city’s 119th victim this year, Clara Jean Walker, who was inside her home Sunday when she was killed by a stray bullet that rocketed through a window.
“It’s a tragedy that never should have happened,” Slay said. “All of us should pledge to do everything we can to reduce the senseless shooting and violence. That includes telling police anything and everything we know about the person or people who were on Ms. Walker’s street” or in any crime.
“St. Louis is awash with guns,” the mayor said. “This has got to stop.” Of the 120 murdered in the city in 2013, 98 were men. At least 105 were African-American.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch also addressed the crowd, pledging to do all they could. They acknowledged the tremendous toll violence has taken on area families.


Senior U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber told the families that all would have to work together to “break the endless cycle of hopelessness and helplessness.”

April 16, 2014

ST. LOUIS • Inside the sanctuary of Lane Tabernacle CME Church in north St. Louis’ Vandeventer neighborhood, people prayed and lit candles Wednesday night for those who died this year by gun violence. Some died blocks away; others, hundreds of miles away.
“We stand tonight, we pray tonight, and we are in solidarity tonight because we know there is a better way,” said the Rev. James T. Morris, the pastor of the church.
He invited members of the Central Reform Congregation in the Central West End to attend the church’s Holy Week prayer vigil against gun violence. They lit candles for victims of gun violence in St. Louis and the victims of Sunday’s triple killing at a Jewish Community Center near Kansas City.
“When we put our trust in guns and not in the collective good, we are embracing idolatry of the worst kind,” Rabbi Susan Talve told the group.
Members of two women’s anti-violence groups said they were shocked by the killings of 20 school children during the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 but then were forced to look closer at their own communities.
“What happened in Sandy Hook happens every week to your children in St. Louis,” said Barbara Finch, with Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.
The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America formed in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn. Missouri Chapter Leader Melissa Brooks said she had to stop and leave the room earlier this week when she saw a picture of the 14-year-old victim of the Kansas City-area shooting. The boy looked just like her own son.
“It could have so easily been my child,” she said. And it could have been her child because it’s so easy to get a gun, she said.
That group is speaking against Missouri Senate Bill 613, which will make it illegal for police officers and prosecutors to enforce federal gun laws and lowers the concealed carry age to 19 from 21.
The effects of gun violence hit home for Morris, who doesn’t just minister to others who have been affected by it. His own son, Damien, was shot in May 2012 while riding in a car with friends. Damien lived but is paralyzed from the chest down. Police never found the shooter.
Damien Morris, 23, spoke before the group of about 60 and said he was disappointed more didn’t attend. Too many people don’t care, he said.
“To me, parents aren’t really into their children’s lives, and I don’t understand that,” he said. “I just thank God that I’m here. I could have ended up as one of these candles.”

May 26, 2014

The St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition was calling for prayer to end violence in the city. There were wives, such as Lisa Jackson, who’d lost husbands. And there were mothers, such as Carla Austin, who had come very close. Her son was shot 18 times, she said, but he survived. Now he’s trying to learn to speak and walk again.


“Every year in the summer months in St. Louis, we see a horrible trend,” Burton said. “That trend is violence. Starting right now, we’re asking the city to be united in prayer. Pray that we have peace.”


Sharif Allen, 21, walked to the front of the sanctuary. The last two names were those of cousins of his — two of the most recent loved ones he’s lost to violence in St. Louis. continued Allen’s first memory is of attending his uncle’s funeral at age 2. He believes he witnessed the fatal shooting. continued He asked for prayer for a better education system. Too many children in St. Louis get to middle school and can barely read, he said. Violence comes easier, he said, than getting the skills needed to thrive in society. “If you’re in school and you don’t understand what’s going on, you’re going to resort to violence,” Allen said.


The Week of Prayer to Curb Violence will continue with events throughout the week.

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by police.

On August 19, 2014 Kajieme Powell was shot and killed by police.

On October 8, 2014 Vonderrit Myers was shot and killed by police.

On December 23, 2014 Antonio Martin was shot and killed by police.

RIP.  We won’t stop until we get justice.
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