A public information officer for the St. Louis Metro Police Department Fusion that police officers are allowed to use their department-issued weapons and uniforms while moonlighting:
"To clarify, secondary employment allows officers to work security in uniform and carry their department-issued weapons. The officer, while not on duty for the Police Department, still has the same responsibilities and power to affect arrest and the officer operates in the capacity as a St. Louis Police Officer. St. Louis Police Officers work secondary for securities companies, business establishments, sporting events, etc. The Force Investigative Unit responded and is investigating. The investigation is ongoing."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is also reporting that an autopsy of Vonderrit Myers Jr. was shot between five and seven times. The body has seven wounds with only five of them confirmed to be bullet holes.
Police in the St. Louis metropolitan area are once again at odds with the population they are tasked with protecting after a St. Louis Police Department officer fatally shot an 18-year-old Wednesday night. The shooting comes more than eight weeks after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by Ferguson Police Department officer Darren Wilson.
Moments after the the shooting—according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it occurred roughly around 7:30 PM local time—the St. Louis Police Department gave their version of the story via its Twitter account.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "working secondary" refers to a part-time private security job. It's not clear why an officer not working in an official capacity would be conducting a "pedestrian check," or what precipitated the check.
A video of St. Louis Police Department Chief Sam Dotson's press conference was also posted on YouTube.
During the conference, Dotson said the shooting would be the first test of the so-called Force Investigative Unit, St. Louis County police's internal unit charged with investigating uses of force. Dotson said the unit will conduct an internal review and criminal analysis while consulting with the St. Louis County attorney's office to determine if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the officer. Dotson formed the unit two weeks ago in the wake of the Brown shooting.
Officials have yet to reveal the name of the officer or of the slain teen. The latter, however, was identified as Vonderrit Myers, Jr. by relatives. Myers' family also dispute the police assertion that the teenager had a weapon with him.
"He was unarmed," Teyonna Myers, the teen's cousin, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It's Michael Brown all over again."
Myers was killed 12 miles from Ferguson, where Brown was slain. As was the case with Brown, Myers' shooting has sparked protests, as well as national awareness on social media. On Twitter, protesters—and those defending the police—have begun using the hashtags #ShawShooting, #16times, #16Shots and #VonderritMyers to speak of the incident.
Video of the protests were also posted on Vine. As many as 300 demonstrators took to the streets and chant "hands up don't shoot!" and "black lives matter!," two rallying calls borrowed from the Michael Brown protests.
Police eventually showed up at the scene of the protests.
Facing the cops, protesters invoked Michael Brown's name.
SWAT police were eventually called to the scene and demonstrators were told that they would be arrested.
Police officers eventually allowed the protesters to assemble, instructing them to stand on the sidewalk.
The story is developing and we'll update as information becomes available.
Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.