Protestors: Police Shot “Un-armed” Man
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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Protestors picket police headquarters claiming two officers shot and killed a man who had already thrown down his gun and had his hands up in the air.
Cary Ball Jr., 25, was shot and killed by police the evening of April 24 near the Edward Jones Dome.
“My son supposedly threw his weapon down, walked toward the police to surrender, and he was shot twenty-five times,” said Cary Ball Senior.
Protestors say they have witnesses from the scene of the shooting who are giving depositions to an attorney.
“There are several credible witnesses not knowing each other who observed what had taken place,” said protest organizer Zaki Baruti. None of the alleged witnesses spoke at the news conference.
The dead man’s brother, Carlos Ball, summarized what he says the witnesses saw police do.
“They looked at the gun on the ground and fired,” Ball said, “He never fired. They never fired, until the gun was no where near him.”
When asked why Cary Ball Jr. was running from the police with a gun in the first place, his brother says Cary was an ex-convict and knew it was against the law for him to have a gun.
“The way St. Louis streets work, we’re afraid out here,” Carlos Ball said, “We’re afraid of the police. We’re afraid of other youth who may want to pull a gun and fire on you. So, sometimes people have guns just to protect themselves, not with the intentions to do a criminal act with it.”
At the time of his death, Ball was a human services major at Forest Park Community College. The campus newspaper The Scene reported Ball had a 3.86 grade-point average and had been honored as an “emerging scholar.”
The Scene also reported that Ball spent five-and-a-half years in prison — three years for armed robbery when he was 17, and another two-and-a-half years for a probation violation involving a misdemeanor.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson tells KMOX the case remains under investigation.
“We’ve invited the family and the witnesses to provide statements to us,” Dotson said, “Some of them have. Some of them haven’t. I encourage anybody who has information, we’re certainly looking into the matter.”
Police report Ball had crashed his car after a high-speed chase, ran away on foot, and then pointed a gun at officers and ignored them when they ordered him to drop his weapon.
Dotson says they have found no surveillance video from the area that shows what happened.
The officers were put on administrative leave pending further investigation.
Protestors say they plan to have another demonstration next week to ask Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce to investigate. They say the attorney of record representing the family is Freeman Bosley Junior, a former Mayor of St. Louis. Bosley’s firm is also involved in pending litigation against the city, claiming jail guards encouraged inmates to fight each other “gladiator style” for the guard’s amusement.