Berkeley, Missouri authorities won’t reveal the name of the white police officer who shot and killed a reportedly armed, young black man last week.
The death of that young man—18-year-old Antonio Martin -- caused violent protests and clashes with the police in the town, which is just miles from the site of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson Missouri.
“Mr. Martin was armed, Mr. Martin did fire – did attempt to fire – and the officer, in fear of his fire, retreated, and while doing so, fired approximately three rounds,” Police Chief Frank McCall said at a press conference this morning. He said several witnesses—including the victim’s friend who was with him at the time—confirmed that the victim had a gun and that Martin had pointed it the officer.
The officer who killed Martin is currently on paid administrative leave, McCall said, asking the media to keep his name out of all reports.
Security footage from the site of the shooting -- released by police on YouTube -- confirms much of the police account of what happened, though the incident occurs far from the actual camera and the actual gun isn't visible. The officer who shot and killed Martin wasn’t wearing his department-issued body camera at the time, but officials have defended him saying it was handed off to him halfway through his shift and they are still in “testing mode” right now.
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In the wake of Martin's death, advocates cited it as yet another example of racially motivated police brutality. Berkeley officials rejected that idea, “We’re different than the city of Ferguson," Mayor Theodore Hoskins said hours after the shooting.
“Everybody don’t die the same,” he continued. “Some people die because the police initiated it, some people die because they initiated it. At this point our review indicates that the police did not initiate this like Ferguson.”