St. Louis Teen Killed By Police Shot In The Back
( 4UMF NEWS ) St. Louis Teen Killed By Police Shot In The Back:
Mansur Ball-Bey, the St. Louis teen whose death at the hands of police ignited protests, died from a single bullet to the back, according to a preliminary autopsy that raised suspicions about what happened.
The 18-year-old black teen was killed Wednesday after police say he ran through the back door where cops were executing a search warrant and pointed a gun at officers. A search yielded stolen guns and crack cocaine, and a teen with Ball-Bey escaped, they said.
Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the location of the gunshot wound does not prove or disprove the officers' narrative.
"Just because he was shot in the back doesn't mean he was running away," Dotson said. "It could be, and I'm not saying that it doesn't mean that. I just don't know yet."
"What I do know is that two officers were involved and fired shots, but I don't know exactly where they were standing yet and I won't know until I get their statements."
But Ball-Bey's cousin told the Daily News the autopsy confirms the family's suspicions about the police account of the last acts of Ball-Bey, who went by Man Man.
"It's the gut feeling we've had all along," DeAndre Cody said. "We knew Man Man was smarter than that. He just wouldn't pull a gun on the police."
"Now the findings come out that he was shot in the back. And the story has changed from 'pointed a gun' at officers to 'flourished' a gun. We want answers."
The two officers on scene fired four shots at Ball-Bey, and only one shot hit him in the upper right back, according to police reports and Ball-Bey's family attorney, Jermaine Wooten.
A witness told police about hearing the officers' gunfire before seeing Ball-Bey drop his weapon, run through a gateway and collapse, the Post-Dispatch reported. But Wooten disputed that claim, referring to other witness accounts.
Wooten told the Daily News that Ball-Bey was not even at the home where the search warrant was executed but was behind a home two doors down in a shared alleyway when police arrived. He had just gone over to a relative's house after his job at FedEx and was still wearing his uniform when he was shot, family said.
"Mansur saw these plainclothes detectives (with guns), and it's a very dangerous area," Wooten said. He and the other teen took off running from the men they thought were thugs, and that's when police fired, Wooten said.
Both properties belong to the same relative, he said.
Ball-Bey's family said they couldn't believe the police account because Ball-Bey had kept out of trouble. He had just graduated from high school, worked part-time at FedEx, was active in the local Moorish Temple and was planning to go to college, although they couldn't say which one.
"It's devastating to be honest," Cody said. "He was robbed of a future."
Pictures on Ball-Bey's social media account show him posed with guns, but his dad Dennis told the Daily News the teen was an aspiring rapper and used the guns only as props in music videos to create a persona in gangsta rap.
Within an hour of Ball-Bey's death, more than 100 people gathered on the streets, just days after the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson by ex cop Darren Wilson. As people chanted "Black Lives Matter," some demonstrators got violent, throwing rocks and smoke bombs and setting fire to a car and abandoned building.
About 150 people attended a candlelight vigil for the teen Thursday night, according to local reports.
Police said they are waiting for test results on fingerprints and DNA found on the gun Ball-Bey was holding, and the investigation is ongoing.
The final autopsy report will be referred to city Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Richard Callahan for independent reviews, police said.
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