Michael Brown

Details are slowly emerging regarding the police-involved shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown around noon yesterday in the 2900 Block of Canfield at the Canfield Green apartment complex in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar held a press conference Sunday morning regarding the tragic incident that has garnered national attention.

According to Belmar, a Ferguson police officer had an encounter on the street with two individuals. One of the individuals was Brown’s friend, Dorin Johnson. As the police officer was exiting his vehicle, the police officer was allegedly pushed back into the car---where a struggle then ensued over the officer’s weapon.

“There was at least one shot fired inside the car,” Belmar said during the press conference Sunday morning held at the Ferguson Fire Department.

He said the officer then exited his vehicle and fatally shot Brown and that the entire scene---from approximately the car door to the shooting---is about 35 feet.

More than a few shell casings were recovered from the scene, he said stating that he can not say exactly how many times Brown was struck by gunfire.

“It was more than a couple,” he said. “But, I don’t think it was many more than that.”

Witnesses say Brown was shot at least eight times. The medical examiner began conducting an investigation today that could take as long as six weeks to complete pending toxicology results, Belmar said.

Belmar acknowledged Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson who was also at the press conference. Jackson “personally called me,” Belmar said, as he was arriving at the scene and asked the St. Louis County Bureau of Crimes Against Persons Unit to investigate the incident.

Belmar said Jackson’s actions are not that of someone with anything to hide.

The St. Louis County Bureau of Crimes against Persons will conduct an independent investigation.

When the investigation is complete, Belmar said, the facts and circumstances will be turned over to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch.

Belmar has spoken by phone with McCulloch who will determine whether or not charges need to be filed.

The press conference was closed to the general public. A growing crowd of emotional protesters chanted “No justice! No peace!” outside of the building.

Some have called for the F.B.I. to get involved with the investigation.

“I would imagine that there’s a chance that the F.B.I. could be involved in this,” Belmar said.

Belmar plans to reach out to the St. Louis office today, he said. It took a long time to process the scene stating that “we only get one opportunity to take a look at these scenes,” he said.

“There were a lot of folks down there,” he said. “Emotions were running very high.”

Belmar is asking the public’s help with providing any electronic footage of the incident. The unnamed police officer involved in the shooting is a six-year veteran with no prior incidents, Belmar said.

“We will be interviewing that officer more extensively today,” he said.

That officer has been placed on paid administrative leave. Before the officer can return to duty, he must first undergo two different psychological evaluations.

A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 8 p.m. at 2943 Canfield Dr. at the Canfield Green apartment complex. A peace rally is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday morning at the Ferguson Police Department.

Follow this reporter on Twitter: @BridjesONeil | E-mail this reporter: boneil@stlamerican.com

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September 2014


Civil Rights Activist Essie "Rerun" Berry, also the widow of Fred Rerun Berry from the hit TV sitcom, What's Happening, wants answers and demands them immediately.

Police killings around the world is not a race thing, it is a real thing. This time around Essie screams out with the release of her new 2014 Anthem: Who are you? "Hear My Voice," That can be downloaded on CD Baby (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/essieaberry4).

This Anthem is in support of those who have fallen victim to police brutality, killings and misconduct. Over the past centuries these violent acts have become the highlight of conversations near and far, Essie, believes there is an immediate need for a mass movement. These situations take place very often, but unfortunately there is no statistical data showing the truth behind the stories told. Mrs. Berry says as a unit, we cannot allow such heinous acts to take place and remain reluctant to react.

It is clearly stated in the 4th Amendment “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall be issued without probable cause.” If this is the case why do so many violations exist? The use of lethal force against innocent people has become a new epidemic which is running widespread. Mrs. Berry pleads for everyone to take a stand and let their voices be heard. She exclaims "let's not forget, the memories of the many men and women who has been executed by those who are appointed to protect and to serve. Although a majority of the victims are African American, she asks you the people, not to make this an issue about race when its simply issues with police misconduct.

Ms. Berry reminisces on several cases that should have gotten more notoriety, and should have never become extinct. She clearly states, "we need to keep these individual's tragedies alive or simply fall victim to these violent acts." She highlights cases such as Amadou Diallo (1991) an unarmed West African Immigrant who was shot at 41 times while standing in the doorway of his Bronx apartment building. Abner Louima (1997) a Haitian immigrant who was arrested outside of a Brooklyn nightclub and when taken to the precinct, he was assaulted, brutalized and forcibly sodomized with a broken-off broom handled by New York City Police Officers. Then, you have the most recent incidents such as Eric Garner who was placed in a choke hold and murdered by NYPD on July 17, 2014 for selling cigarettes. Kelly Thomas a mentally ill white homeless man beaten to death July 5, 2011 by California police. Then, the recent killing of 18 year old Ramarley Graham who was gunned down in his bathroom by NYPD after they followed him to his house and used excessive force to enter his home without a warrant. Michael Brown was an 18 year old who was shot down August 9, 2014 in Ferguson Missouri. August 27, 2014 John Crawford III who was shot dead by Beaver Creek, Ohio police for carrying a BB gun while walking the aisles in Wal-Mart.

Mrs. Berry, then became frustrated at cases that go unnoticed, such as Dillon Taylor, a 20 year old Mexican boy shot and killed by a Black Salt Lake City Police officer August 11, 2014. Dillon was unable to respond to their commands due to having headphones in his ears. Then, there is the cases of 16 year old Phillip Panell (1990), an African American teenager who was gunned down while fleeing New Jersey Police. 25 year old Ezel Ford who was walking down a block, stopped, questioned and then shot and killed by two LAPD officers. Another disturbing incident out of many others is the case of Victor Steen, he was struck and killed by a police cruiser because he eluded police earlier in the day when they wanted to ask questions. The police in Steen's case made claims he was accidentally struck by the cruiser as they were trying to taser him through the vehicle's window.

Major concerns are, officers involved faced little to no consequences for their actions. Some were granted paid administrative leave. This is due to the lack of voices, lack of unity, and lack of knowledge.

Mrs. Berry begs and pleads for people worldwide to take a stand and make their voices be heard.

UPDATE: Mrs. Berry still continues to support and investigate the case of Omar Hutchinson, an innocent man sentence to 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. She has been contacted with disturbing news revealed by a Correctional Officer from Downstate Correctional Facility in New York where Mr. Hutchinson is housed. This officer wants to remain anonymous, but it has been reported Mr. Hutchinson was slammed to the prison floor, stepped on and punched in the face by several officers for asking to go to the bathroom. There have also been reports of officers spitting in Mr. Hutchinson's food. Due to Mrs. Berry requests and demands for answers, an investigation has been opened in regards to the matter. There is still a widespread of brutality in prison as well as police department. Mrs. Berry protests this is happening because we are not letting our voices be heard. She ends with: Who are you if no one knows who you are? Who are you if no one can hear your voice? Who are you if you do not stand for something? Who are you if you do not try and make a change? Who are you if you do not know where you come from? You are no one, because you spent your whole life, not allowing your voice to be heard, not knowing where you come from and not standing for anything. You are unknown because no one knows your name, and your voice remains unheard. HEAR MY VOICE,HEAR MY VOICE.A CHANGE HAS TO COME


Essie Berry



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