St. Louis Cops Fatally Shoot Black Man, Protests Erupt

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Police made nine arrests and used tear gas to clear a street when about 150 people gathered to protest a shooting earlier in the day that left a black suspect dead.

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The crowd ignored police commands and threw glass bottles and rocks at officers, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. 

Many of the roughly 150 people who gathered at the scene questioned the police use of deadly force and chanted “Black Lives Matter,” a mantra used a year ago after the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

In a news conference earlier in the day, Dotson said the shooting occurred Wednesday morning when members of the Tactical Unit and Special Operations were executing a search warrant at a house in the north part of the city.

Two men armed with guns fled out of the back door as officers were about to enter the house. Police say 18-year-old Mansur Ball-Bey was armed with a firearm with an extended magazine. The other suspect, who police described as being in his mid- to late-teens, was armed with two guns and was in possession of crack cocaine.

As the suspects fled, officers in an alley near the house ordered them to stop and drop their weapons. Police say Ball-Bey then turned and pointed a gun at the officers.

Dotson said two officers shot and struck Ball-Bey. Dotson said one officer fired once and the other fired three shots.

Ball-Bey then dropped his gun and ran through a gangway before collapsing. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second suspect was still at large late Wednesday.

Both officers, who are white, were unharmed, according to a police report. Dotson said one officer is 33 years old, with seven years on the police force; the other is 29 years old with six years on the force.

Four guns, including the gun dropped by Ball-Bey, and crack cocaine were recovered from the house, police said.

Authorities said other people in the house were taken into custody without incident, but didn't specify how many.

Police obtained the search warrant because they believed the home harbored suspects in other crimes, Dotson said.

Dotson didn’t specify which crimes, but he noted that a killing happened on the same street Monday and a nearby market just was riddled by bullets.

Many of those who gathered near Wednesday’s shooting voiced anger at police.

“Another youth down by the hands of police,” Dex Dockett, 42, who lives nearby, told a reporter. “What could have been done different to de-escalate rather than escalate? They (police) come in with an us-against-them mentality. You’ve got to have the right kind of cops to engage in these types of neighborhoods.”

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