BERKELEY, MO (KTVI) – The City of Berkeley, MO says its officer was justified in shooting Antonio Martin and has cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said it was important to get this internal affairs investigation done quickly. Now that they have the results, he didn’t hesitate to say the officer should be able to police Berkeley`s streets again. Mayor Hoskins said, ‘If he wants to. That`s my position. He did not initiate this. He followed all of our procedures and we`re supportive of someone who did not initiate that and so that will be solely up to him.’
The unnamed officer still has to wait for St. Louis County to finish its independent investigation, but Mayor Hoskins said it can`t be any more clear. He said, ‘The biggest piece is the young man that was next to the car in the video. He indicated that he saw a gun.’
Police say it was not a flashlight or a cell phone, as some have speculated after seeing surveillance video from the Mobile on North Hanley. They say it was a 9 millimeter gun. At a news conference, Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall addressed the evidence photo showing the safety on. He said, ‘If the safety had been released off the weapon there`s a possibility we might be talking about more than one death, maybe even two.’
Video from the December 23rd shooting showed the officer fall back while firing and run all the way to the street. Mayor Hoskins said, ‘They`ve identified one bullet went into the tire of a police car, one went into Mr. Martin.’ He said police couldn`t find the third bullet, that likely went into the air when the officer fell back.
Hoskins said 30-40 people showed up at the scene of the shooting again Monday night, confronted police, then walked over to shut down I-170. He said, ‘You`ve gotta have protest with a purpose and there was no purpose last night.’
On social media, protestors have questioned why we don`t see more video from other cameras recording on the gas station parking lot. Hoskins said, ‘All of them wasn`t set to see this incident.’
Hoskins said we`ve seen every angle that captured anything. He added, ‘They don`t want to end the protests.’
Reporter Chris Hayes asked, ‘So it`s become about the protests?’
Hoskins responded, ‘Oh yeah, it`s all about the protests.’