BERKELEY (TIP): Between six and eight protesters were arrested in Berkeley, Missouri, following the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white officer, Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall said on December 25. A television channel in St Louis said the demonstrators were taken into custody on Wednesday after they blocked part of a busy roadway in a “die-in” protest against a string of shootings of black people in the United States by white police officers.
They briefly blocked traffic on Interstate 170 during a march before returning to the gas station where Antonio Martin was shot at. Later, about 75 people staged a peaceful protest early on Christmas morning outside a nearby church. Police in riot gear were present.
The actions were calmer than a night before, when a crowd of about 300 gathered at the gas station, throwing stones in a scene reminiscent of the sometimes-violent protests that followed the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.
Unlike in the death of Brown, who was unarmed when killed and whose shooting was not captured on video, Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said on Wednesday that surveillance footage appeared to show Martin pulling a gun on the unidentified 34-year-old officer. Hoskins urged calm, saying, “You couldn’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York,” refering to the chokehold death of Eric Garner, another black man killed by a white cop.