An African American off-duty officer was shot by a fellow white cop in St. Louis' North Pointe neighborhood after a car chase ended in a crash outside the off-duty officer’s home.
The incident took place when a license recognition equipment alerted police to a vehicle that had been stolen on June 15. Police immediately got to the scene and were confronted by three people inside the stolen car. The suspects then opened fire at the police and tried to drive away.
However, the car crashed at an intersection and the three suspects inside the car fled the vehicle. That is when two officers, “fearing for their safety,” fired at the suspects, striking one in the ankle.
It was in that moment the black officer, 38, who is an 11-year veteran of the force, heard the commotion outside his home. He realized the cops had ended up there in a car chase and decided to go out and offer assistance to the officers.
As he reached the scene, the off-duty cop was ordered to the ground by two officers. He complied with the order and as soon as the officers recognized him they told him to stand up and asked him to come toward them.
However, this is when another white officer came in and shot the off-duty officer in the arm as he failed to recognize him. The cop later told police that he shot the officer because he “feared for his safety.”
The off-duty officer, who remains unidentified, was immediately treated at a hospital and was later released.
According to The Post-Dispatch, police are calling the incident an example of “friendly fire” due to the suspects from the car chase firing at police.
“This is the first time that we are aware, that a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street. This is a real problem,” Rufus J. Tate Jr., the wounded officer's attorney, said.
He further added, “In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received. So we have a real problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared.”
Now, seven officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave.
According to a report, the uncomfortable truth about many Americans is that they fear black men. The off-duty cop was shot just because he was black even though it was clearly evident that he didn’t pose any threat of any kind to the cops. He was unarmed and went out to offer help to his fellow cops — but because he was black, he was considered a threat.
White cop shoots black off duty cop just for standing by a the scene. Walk up & shoot. They called it friendly fire. What was so friendly?— 1eight7 (@muyloco187) June 23, 2017
White cop shoots black off-duty cop during pursuit, says he didn't know he was an officer https://t.co/Y1GeYFH5pr— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) June 23, 2017
This: White COP shoots OFF DUTY black cop.. they called it friendly fire incident. How is anyone shooting at someone friendly? https://t.co/SowmVhDfs5— ALT?? Immigration (@ALT_uscis) June 23, 2017