Officials baffled by the motive of a gunman who wounded a city police sergeant in an ambush in the Central West End on Tuesday were hoping to get answers from a man who sought hospital treatment later for gunshot injuries.
A member of the black community asks the police how it feels after four black people ambushed a St. Louis police officer...
The officer had returned fire and thought he hit the shooter, police said. But it remained unclear whether that was the man being questioned at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. A car believed to have been used by four men involved in the crime was recovered and examined for evidence.
“They targeted, they ambushed, they tried to assassinate a police officer,” Police Chief Sam Dotson said. He emphasized that there was no previous contact between the sergeant and the men, and no attempt made to rob him.
The attacker was described as black, 18 to 22 years old, about 5-foot-7, with a thin build, medium complexion and some facial hair. The wounded officer also is black.
At least one of them may have stopped at the nearby Coffee Cartel, open 24 hours, before the shooting. The Central West End is saturated with surveillance cameras.
The shooting occurred in an area of gated streets and within a block of the upscale Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Two windows at Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier were broken by gunshots, presumably the officer’s. Police have not said how many shots he fired.
Alderman Lyda Krewson, whose ward includes part of the Central West End, visited the scene Tuesday morning. “It is the best neighborhood but it can happen anywhere,” she said. “We’ve seen that.”
A lone angry protester, Dhoruba Shakur, stood with his back to the yellow police tape Tuesday morning and held a homemade sign asking, “How Does It Feel?”
Shakur, 25, of St. Louis, said his question was posed to police who are shooting black men. “How does it feel to be met with same aggression you inflict on certain communities daily?” he told a reporter.
Joggers ignored him as they ran past on their morning routines.
Jim Whyte, executive director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, said the area has more than 80 cameras, with more on Maryland Plaza placed by the developer, Koplar Properties. He said the wounded officer was working for Koplar.
The initiative also hires off-duty officers, often on bicycle, paying for 2,600 shifts a year.
The Central West End has seven taxing districts that help provide extra security.
The patrols have been used for many years, but Whyte’s office began in 2007 to provide oversight.An ambush. A lone black protestor, holding up a sign seemingly endorsing what four black suspects in shooting a police officer... [Protester near scene where officer was shot: Goal of sign is to start dialogue, KMOV.com, 7-14-15]:
A man who held a controversial sign while protesting near the scene of where a St. Louis police officer was shot said the sign was meant to make people uncomfortable and make a point.
Dhoruba Shakur held up a sign that read “How does it feel” while standing very close to where a St. Louis officer was shot in Central West End. Shakur said the goal of the sign was to produce a strong reaction and start a conversation about the issues that have surfaced since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown.
“The whole point of the sign is it’s supposed to be uncomfortable, so people come and start conversation as to why I’m here and why I would say such a thing we could start to have a dialogue,” Shakur said. “It’s pretty much a question of how does it feel to have that violence come back at you, that does not mean I condone it.”
News 4 questioned if Shakur was equating an alleged ambush of a uniformed police officer with an officer using deadly force in face of a threat. Shakur’s response was clear.
“If a cop goes and shoots someone, it should be no different than these people who supposedly tried to assassinate this officer. Everyone should be treated equally, I think you can compare,” Shakur said.Only a few weeks ago in Milwaukee, a black woman was quoted downplaying as assassination attempt on a police officer.
Stephanie King told WISN 12 ABC out of Milwaukee that Najee Harmon, "Cause to me, he didn't do no wrong. He just shot a cop and then everybody come around when they shoot the cop, but when the cops shoot people do they come around?"
The state must always have the monopoly on violence or else it no longer serves a legitimate function. It will no longer cease to matter.
Across the country, your average black individual believes the police - regardless of their race - represents the bane of their existence (when, in reality, the exact opposite of this thought is true).
Were the police to stop patrolling majority black areas (a policy I completely endorse), the black community would cry out for their help to alleviate the madness uncontrolled and unchecked blackness creates in the absence of the white man's law.
And the cries of help will fall on deaf ears from police unions.
So few people understand we are oh-so-close to this occurring nationwide.
And it's one of the first steps back toward sanity.
A baby step, but a necessary first step. KMOV.com