Late Tuesday night, Missouri was the site of another shooting death of a black teen by a white police officer that sparked outrage throughout the community.
During a press conference Wednesday, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said a 34-year old officer was questioning the 18-year-old and another man about a theft at a Mobil gas station. According to Belmar, the young man, who has been identified as Antonio Martin, pulled a 9mm handgun on the officer.
The officer stumbled backward but fired three shots, one of which struck the victim, Belmar said.
A surveillance video appears that has been released appears to back up Belamar's statement
A second suspect fled the scene and the police are currently searching for him.
The police officer had a body camera, but was not wearing it at the time of the shooting. His police vehicle was also fitted with a video camera but it is only activated when the car’s lights are flashing, and they were not at the time.
Belmar said officers were “not used to” the new technology.
“The officer responded with what he thought was commensurate force at the time,” Belmar said “Bad choices were made ... this individual could have complied with the officer. It didn’t have to end with him approaching him with his arm extended and an 9mm pistol in his hand.”
The unnamed police officer involved has been placed on administrative leave while the fatal shooting is investigated, according to St. Louis County PD.
“The events in Berkeley are a reminder that law enforcement officers have a difficult, and often dangerous, job in protecting themselves and law-abiding citizens," Gov. Jay Nixon.
Berkeley is less than three miles from Ferguson, Missouri, where Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year old Michael Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.
Even though the shooting comes on the heels of the death of Brown, Berkley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said the situations are different.
“In a city that is 85 percent black, we have a majority black police department, so our experience is different," Hoskins said at a press conference Wednesday. "Our police officers are more sensitive, and it is because of the black and white relationship you get a better understanding.”
Martin's death was the third fatal shooting of a black suspect by a white police officer in the St. Louis area since Brown was killed. Kajaime Powell, 25, was killed Aug. 9 after approaching St. Louis officers with a knife. Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was fatally shot Oct. 8 after allegedly shooting at a St. Louis officer.
After news of the shooting began to circulate through the St. Louis suburb, community converged at the Mobil gas stations. Police had to used crowd control techniques to keep them at bay.
Four arrests were made after police officers were assaulted. Bricks were thrown at police officers and “explosive devices” thought to be fireworks bound together were set off.
“All protests are different,” Hoskins said. “Last night you would have thought it was Ferguson again. There is a jump to conclusion that all policemen are guilty. We all know that 95 percent of our police serve our community well, so jumping to conclusions is not acceptable.”