Racially charged police shootings in the U.S. continue as the latest reports reveal that another black teenager, Antonio Martin, was shot dead by a Missouri police officer in a town near Ferguson.
The shooting took place Tuesday night at a gas station, while the officer was conducting a routine patrol, Reuters reported. St. Louis County police said in a statement that an officer from the city of Berkeley "fired several shots" after the man "pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer."
"Fearing for his life, the Berkeley officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him," the Missouri police spokesman, Brian Schellman, said. The recent case is another example of the threat posed by heavily armed police toward the African-American community despite previous police shootings sparking nationwide protests. The excessive use of force and civil rights violations by the Ferguson Police Department has remained a significant matter.
Authorities did not immediately identify the man who was shot. However, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a woman at the scene, Toni Martin, said he was her son, 18-year-old Antonio Martin. Toni Martin told the newspaper that her son was with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.
The protesters gathered early Wednesday milled around the gas pumps at the station, some taunting and yelling at police officers. Orlando Brown, 36, of nearby St. Charles was among the protesters. He said he didn't have all the details about the shooting but said he wondered if it was a case of police aggression.
"I understand police officers have a job and have an obligation to go home to their families at the end of the night," he said. "But do you have to treat every situation with lethal force? ... It's not a racial issue, or black or white. It's wrong or right."
The predominantly black small town of Ferguson, Missouri encountered racially charged civil unrest after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot to death by a white police officer on Aug. 9.
Many angry African-Americans took to the streets to protest police brutality.
Along with the recent police shooting in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, there is a long list of people who have been brutally assaulted by police officers, including shooting cases in Ohio and New York.
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