Police version of the shooting of Vonderrit Myers is not credible

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good afternoon:

For the following reasons, I do not believe the official police version of the shooting death of Vonderrit Myers.

A police officer cannot stop someone he suspects of committing a crime, unless his suspicion is reasonable. That is, a mere hunch is not sufficient unless it is based on an articulable set of objective facts and circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to suspect that a crime is being committed, was committed or is about to be committed. See: Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

Race does not qualify as a reasonable suspicion. An investigative stop based on race alone is racial profiling, a Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights violation.

An arrest must be supported by probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe that a person committed a crime.

I have yet to hear any justification by the St.Louis Police Department for the officer’s attempt to stop and question Vonderrit Myers and two others other than they were ‘acting suspiciously.’

Acting suspiciously is an opinion, not an articulable objective fact or circumstance.

Therefore, I see a police officer violating the civil rights of Vonderrit Myers and two others that ended when he shot and killed him.

St.Louis Today is reporting,

A shot to the head killed an 18-year-old teenager shot to death Wednesday during an encounter with an off-duty police officer, the medical examiner said Thursday.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that Vonderrit Myers Jr. was shot from six to seven times in the lower extremities, said Dr. Michael Graham. The fatal shot entered the right cheek and was recovered in the body, Graham said.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed had suggested at a press conference earlier Thursday that the teen had been shot in the back of the head, but the autopsy did not find any gunshots to the back of Myers’ head.

I also have a difficult time believing that the officer waited for Myers to fire three shots, attempt to unjam his gun and fire more shots before he drew his own gun and squeezed off 17 shots.

That sounds like a movie script, not a real-life event.

As I stated in my post yesterday,

Many cops carry difficult-to-trace firearms acquired under questionable circumstances for the sole purpose of throwing them down on people they arrest or kill.

I have yet to hear whether any gunshot residue was found on Meyer’s hands and clothing.

I do not believe the official police version of this shooting, given the attempted unlawful stop, the absence of evidence that any gunshot residue was found on Myers’s hands and clothes, and information from witnesses that Myers was armed with only a sandwich, including the shopkeeper from whom he purchased it a few minutes before the encounter.

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43 Responses to Police version of the shooting of Vonderrit Myers is not credible

  1. Thy Will Be Done says:

    Why is the gun recovered at the scene presumed discharged? no mention of it if this lab report regarding GSR. Hmmm. The gun was definitely fully loaded, and discharged exactly 3 times then jammed before being re-waist-banded💡

  2. Thy Will Be Done says:

    How does GSR make its way inside a waistband and inside the pockets of a dead man that was only alleged to have successfully discharged his weapon 3 times? What about the hoodie? Scared and careless contamination is the answer. The LEO, who we know discharged his weapon 17 times had to then search the body where he thought he would find other weapons or ID. We know he touched all these areas with his person fully and sufficiently saturated with GSR. Why is the gun recovered at the scene left out of the report? It was in the dead mans possession.

  3. Miah says:

    Your summary and seeming understanding of Terry v Ohio is absurdly wrong. That was the case that made stop and frisk legal– ie, Terry lost. And it sets a standard for when an officer can detain someone and pat them down, a standard by the way that has been pretty widely interpreted. It doesn’t mean an officer can’t stop and speak with you, and fleeing an officer– refusing to follow directions like, “stop”– is actually a crime in itself. Terry v Ohio in no way stops an officer from simply stopping to engage with someone if they find something they do suspicious– questions that they also don’t necessarily have to answer. It only sets a slightly more stringent bar for when an officer may frisk someone. If you’re really a lawyer, you’re frankly not a very good one.

    • You just showed your ignorance because Terry requires articulable objective facts and circumstances that support a suspicion that a person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime.

      In Terry the cop saw the defendant and his two companions casing a jewelry store in downtown Cleveland and the SCOTUS specifically mentioned what the officer saw them do that led him to believe they were casing the store. They ruled that the stop and frisk was appropriate because his suspicion was reasonable, given those facts and circumstances.

      No objective facts and circumstance were cited by the officer, except Myers and his two companions were suspicious. That doesn’t cut it under Terry because it’s not an objective fact or circumstance.

      You obviously haven’t read the case, or if you did, you did not understand it.

      Your ad hominem insult at the end reveals you for what you are: just another troll.

      Consider yourself banned.

  4. marym625 says:

    I find it really weird that the coroner said that he won’t do a GSR test because it can be inaccurate and the MHP had supposedly already done one.

    I also read on some online publication, along with the results of the test, that GSR can disappear (my word) after 8 hours, while other sites that explain how GSR tests work, say GSR can remain forever.

    My biggest issue is the time. I can’t find anything that tells me exactly what time the shooting occurred but it seems there was only 6 minutes between the purchase of the sandwich and the shooting. So he left, went home and got a hoodie, came back, was chased both in a vehicle and on foot, shot at and then was shot, all while holding a sandwich, in 6 minutes?

    I also read the night it happened, a woman entered the store with her child and saw the officer speaking to Myers saying he was looking for 4 individuals regarding a burglary. While she was still in the store she heard shooting. So he was speaking to Myers? Where is that in the cop’s story? Along those same lines, why would he just shoot a guy he was speaking with?

    This isn’t making sense. I don’t believe the cop. But something is off on both sides of this story.

  5. rhonda says:

    I hope someone is following up on this. To not do a GSR test is criminal!! Also, has the “investigation” found the bullets that Vonderitt supposedly fired? And, why the importance of a toxicology report? Sounds like a way they hope they can delay until this case fades from headline news. Shameful!

  6. marym625 says:

    They have not, and will not, do a gun shot residue test.

    ““Everything I’ve seen so far comports with what the officer said happened,” Dr. Graham said.

    His department didn’t swab the teen’s hand to test for gunshot residue because that is an often inaccurate test, Dr. Graham said. The final report on the autopsy won’t be released until it can include results from toxicology tests, which can take weeks, he said.”
    http://m.wsj.com/articles/demonstrations-planned-over-police-shootings-in-st-louis-ferguson-1412969680?mobile=y&mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_news

    • Dr. Graham’s excuse for not checking for gunshot residue is absurd. He lied. He didn’t want to check for it because he was afraid the test result would be negative.

      Now, it’s certainly true that gunshot residue can be easily transferred onto other surfaces, such as getting rubbed off on clothing or on the inside surface of a pocket which is a place forensic investigators routinely swab when searching for trace evidence on a suspected shooter’s clothing. A shooter also might avoid it by wearing gloves or washing hands afterwards.

      However, none of those explanations is very likely to have occurred in Myers’s case and, if any of them were possible an explanation for the absence of evidence could be provided.

      Bottom Line: Failing to swab Myers’s hands is indefensible, so much so that the failure to do it looks to me like evidence of a cover-up in which Dr. Graham is a willing participant.

  7. marym625 says:

    They haven’t done, and will not do, a gun shot residue test.

    ““Everything I’ve seen so far comports with what the officer said happened,” Dr. Graham said.

    His department didn’t swab the teen’s hand to test for gunshot residue because that is an often inaccurate test, Dr. Graham said. The final report on the autopsy won’t be released until it can include results from toxicology tests, which can take weeks, he said.”

    http://m.wsj.com/articles/demonstrations-planned-over-police-shootings-in-st-louis-ferguson-1412969680?mobile=y

  8. Diamonique says:

    I don’t know how to post a link here, so I hope this works. I found a DKos diary that shows all the different versions the police have given.
    DKos

    • Malisha says:

      When you find them doing things that are so transparent, so wrong, and so obvious, you KNOW they have the fix in. If they did not have the fix in, they would be more careful. I find that when I get that “OMG now they have busted themselves” feeling, it’s a case where there is NOTHING they could do to “bust themselves” and that is why they are so carelessly arrogant.

  9. Sleepless,night, sigh, it is a girl thing. The latest to this travesty, is the security co. he was working for, was paid for by residents, protecting their homes, in price ranges of 500, 000, and were not that far away from this neighborhood. I am not clear on the distance. These owners paid $500 a year for this extra security. So why was this cop doing ” pedestrian checks”, in the Shaw area, and doing the job he was being paid for????

    • Correction, and NOT doing the job he was being paid for??????
      AKA Japanese Girlsan

    • MDX says:

      That’s the conflict of interest.

      A police officer is a public servant whose 24/7 duty is to protect and serve all members of a community. By taking money to “pedestrian check” one segment of a community at the behest of another, the officer violates the duties he swore to for his “government” job.

      IOW, tax supported police officers should not be allowed to become “hired guns” for the wealthy while still under tax supported employment.

      It is also, IMO, wrong and a conflict of interest for police to support or take funds from any political organization. They are responsible for the enforcement of law and, as such, must not be seen as favoring one political subset of a community over another.

      For example, in the IP community, a member of the Board of Appeals would be removed, if they stated that Apple technology is better than Microsoft because that public statement would taint the objectivity of any decision made by said board.

      Yet, we let the police make very repugnant summary statements about the minority community wherein they are supposed to objectively enforce law.

      You want to be treated and respected like a “professional”, then have ethics like one.

      Act like a pig and, one day, you are going to get cooked and eaten.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    200 deaths caused by US police in the last few months. Hard to wrap your head around.

  11. Bill Taylor says:

    pure speculation but seems for some reason the police need the victim to be in the sweatshirt? possibly it was already in their possession along with the “gun” and fibers from the shirt are the ONLY link between the gun and the victim?????….i ask this because when folks LIE to me on TV i tend to NOT believe them, and look into the “why” are they telling that particular lie? not much time between the buying of the sandwich and the death……i doubt there was enough to run home and grab a sweatshirt then get back in time for the “chase”.

    • The police chief called it a hoodie. To these cops that may mean he was a thug and/or maybe they thought that a hoodie might have concealed the gun that no one saw.

      • racerrodig says:

        He specifically mentioned hoodie several times and went so far as to say in the tussle the cop pulled it off. This alone is an incredulous story…..sort of like having my head pounded on the concrete sidewalk 20 or 30 times.

        So far since Wed. night alone at least half a dzn. versions are floating out there, and that’s from the cops alone. First it a knife, the just a tussle, then a knife, then a tussle, then a gunshot, now 3 gunshots, then a tussle, a hoodie removal during the alleged tussle, and no mention from the cops of a sandwich…..nada.

        Needless to say we have another 6 year police veteran. What is is about 6 year cops……trigger happy or something ?

        Since the store video surfaced a day after the chiefs lies…..er…press conference, I’d say it’s just like my grandfather used to say. “If there’s 2 people in an elevator and one of them farts……they all know who did it now…..don’t they”

        I guess old Chiefy is thinking he spoke a little too soon now, since he had no idea that any video existed.

        I’ll take “Security Camera Videos for $5,000.00 Professor”

        • girlp says:

          Also one version has him jumping from some nonexistent bushes another
          version has him falling to the ground and firing at the officer from the ground. All BS.

          • William Carr says:

            Yeah, the bit about hiding in the bushes and jumping out… when there ARE no bushes there.

            This is the third cop murder within a dozen miles of Ferguson in two months, right?

            I misplaced my scorecard.

        • Preach, racerrodig. Not only that, this is a prior marine, and was deployed to Iraq. He may have a serious case of PTSD, and not even realize it, or may realize. He could have easily flashbacked. I am prior military, Air Force enlisted, and a brat, grew up in Japan, during the Viet Nam War. So I am hardly putting him down for his service, but…..there could be something more to this. Also, the demonizing of this teen has begun, with his past history with LE in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
          AKA Japnese Girlsan

          • racerrodig says:

            Girlsan ……Hello ! Long time no “see” Anything is possible with this and as girlp said, and I forgot about it, there is this bush jumping crap, just like Fogen.

  12. a2nite says:

    I thought it was a gun not a sandwich with unnecessary lying about being shot at so as to get more than the requisite white supremacist to support another murdering “cop”.

    #FTP

  13. racerrodig says:

    ……..back up a second. The shopkeeper where he purchased the sandwich ? Well now, so it looks like the witnesses are telling the truth.

    I’m still betting there is no gunshot residue….the time on my mark is ……………3:20 PM 10/10/14 Mark!

    • Bill Taylor says:

      people saw his body WITH the sandwich in his hand is how that story got started….the only way it could since how would anybody other than the store clerk and his friends even know he had just purchased the sandwich?….his pants were clearly sagging in the store so that alone explains why it was hard to run, he had to hold up his pants with one hand and the sandwich with the other……

  14. OMG, Professor, We read each other’ s mind on this. My first comment on the st louis dispatch, was that dotson sounded like he was reading a script,, from a D movie. I agree. I don not believe that this kid had a gun, much less used it. Doton has the same mindset, as,belmar, and jackson. They all are so used to doing exactly what they please, under the guise of LE, with zero accountability. Until some of these cop’ s, are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted and thrown into gen pop, this police brutality, and murders will
    continue unchecked. Thank you.
    AKA Japanese Girlsan.

  15. Skip Jones says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting the gunshot residue evidence as well. Wondering how many remember the Kajime Powell shooting and false statements made by Chief Dotson.

  16. Bill Taylor says:

    the residue test was obviously done and the results known to police, not releasing that info which would confirm their story speaks volumes, that info must NOT support their story so now they need time to concoct some story explaining away that there was NO evidence of the young man firing a weapon on his hands.

  17. I, too, had pointed out the unlikely scenario in a Facebook post yesterday of the incident’s sequence. My post said exactly what you did, Professor: no way the police officer waited until he was shot at to “return fire” after believing the young man had a gun. No way. Since this is an obvious lie, the question then is “Why is he lying?” Thank you for this post.

  18. When someone lies about a small thing, I think them likely to lie about big things. Or when they offer unnecessary or unreasonable details. Case in point: The police officer who killed 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers said that he believed the young man had a gun because he “observed the male running and holding his waistband.” Could it possibly be because he was “sagging?” Maybe?

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