FLORISSANT, Mo. – Elijah Foggy, 19, has been protesting in front of the Florissant Police Department nearly every day since an ex-Florissant detective, Joshua Smith, allegedly ran over a man with his vehicle following a traffic stop.
Smith has been fired and charged, but for Foggy and others with “Expect Us” say that is not enough.
Foggy was protesting Sunday night when he says he was banged up by police and later arrested. His interview with FOX2Now was before that incident. However, during the interview, he did say he knew getting arrested or injured was possible.
“I think a lot of people are on edge because we have been going at it for a long time now,” said Foggy. He explained people are getting tired and antsy because they want action. He said some people want action so badly they are moved to violence.
“Expect Us” relies heavily on young people to get the group’s messages out to their peers. There are also mentors helping guide the young leaders. Foggy is one of those young adults working to get others his age to take action.
Foggy says he and others with “Expect Us” will be satisfied when Joshua Smith is back behind bars. They also want the police department and the officers held more accountable as well as the other two officers involved in the traffic stop fired and decertified.
“It wasn’t an accident. This wasn’t an accident. The man was running away from the cop,” said Foggy.
Foggy also says he believes Smith used excessive force and should be charged with assualt with the intent to kill.
The prosecuting attorney in the case says in other similar cases that have not been officer-involved, there have been similar charges.
“We are mad at the police, but we also want them to realize our pain,” said Foggy. “I believe if we can show the officers how much we are hurting, it would encourage change.”
He did recall one night of protesting where he encouraged other protestors to listen to an officer who was asking them to get out of the street. He said that helped deescalate the situation.
“When will it stop, when will Black people be able to walk down the street without looking over their shoulder, when will it be that a black man will not have to be afraid of a police officer, so that a black man can thank a police officer for their work,” said Foggy.
Foggy acknowledge that not all police officers are bad. He not only hopes for more accountability in the future but for defunding of police so more money can go to things like education.