Off-duty black cop mistakenly shot by white cop

Marie Harrington
June 25, 2017

A black off-duty St. Louis police officer was shot by a white on-duty police officer from the same department who apparently mistook him for a fleeing suspect, according to a statement from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, CBS News reports. Fox reports that the white officer told investigators he fired at his colleague because he "feared for his safety".

The St. Louis Post Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2sXqlFL ) reports that the shooting happened Wednesday night after officers started following a stolen auto.

The 38-year-old, and an 11-year department veteran, was initially stopped by two uniformed cops and ordered to the ground before they recognized him, according to a department incident summary released on Thursday. Three people inside the stolen auto then opened fire at the pursuing officers, striking police vehicles.

They chased the vehicle until it crashed, with the men getting out with guns and attempting to flee on foot.

Three plainclothes officers on routine patrol arrived at the scene and yelled for the two to stop, police said.

The victim was treated in hospital but has since been released, police confirmed.

A cop-on-cop shooting in St. Louis is being described as a "friendly fire" incident by police but the lawyer for the wounded officer suggests his client's race may be to blame.

"This is the first time that we are aware, that a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street". A third suspect is being sought.

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He further added, "In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received". His lawyer, Rufus J. Tate Jr., told local news outlets that he considers the incident more severe than a "friendly fire" accident. So we have a real problem with that.

"This been a national discussion for the past two years".

The white officer was among those chasing gunmen in a stolen vehicle when the officer with 11 years of service came out of his home armed with his police-issue gun to help.

It is not yet known who shot the officer.

The department says the vehicle crashed near the intersection of Park Lane and Astra Avenue, northwest of West Florissant Avenue and Riverview Boulevard.

Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show such accidental police-on-police shootings occur at a low rate given the tense, confusing circumstances officers routinely face. Young - at the time the son of the department's highest-ranking black officer - was dressed in baggy jeans, an overcoat and a baseball cap, and he was carrying a gun.

One suspect, a 17-year-old male, was shot in the ankle.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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