On Sunday, Sept. 11, St. Louis police officers shot and killed a 16-year-old Black boy whom they allege was reaching for his gun. But the family of the slain teenager says he was running away and that officers had not identified themselves as police.
According to AP, Darryl Ross was fatally shot by two St. Louis two drug enforcement detectives at a gas station on the north side of the city. The police report claims the officers, who were in plain clothes and an unmarked car pulled into the parking lot of the gas station after they said they spotted several people with guns. The report goes on to say that Ross, who was armed with a gun began to quickly walk away toward an alley when officers arrived. The officers then followed Ross and claimed they announced themselves as police. According to the report, Ross tripped and fell while he was running away, dropping the gun on the ground. Officers then claim Ross reached for the pistol as officers approached him, prompting them to shoot the young teenager. Ross was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
But Darryl’s mother, Jukita Johnson, who claims she was at the gas station when her son was killed, says her son should not have died that day and was only at the gas station to buy chicken tenders.
“He never had (the gun) in his hand; he never pulled it out,” Johnson told STL Today.
“Because when they turned my baby over, (the gun) was still right here,” she said, tapping her waistband. “They killed my baby, they could have grabbed him … he never pulled (the gun) out.”
Officers have disputed claims that any of Ross’ family members were present during the shooting, but his uncle Johnny Parker is a St. Louis police officer.
Other family members criticized the St. Louis Police department for allowing the undercover officers to patrol without wearing body cameras.
“Why are they funding them to wear body cameras and they’re not wearing them?” Darryl’s grandfather, Randy Johnson, asked STL Today. “We taxpayers pay for body cameras, but they don’t have to wear them? That’s not cool.”
“I’m sorry the police didn’t do their job the right way, that’s what I’m sorry about,” Darryl’s uncle said to STL Today. “I’m sorry another Black life was taken from the police not handling their job the right way. They could have handled the situation a lot better.”
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