RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – St. Louis community activists who protested at the Galleria Mall in Richmond Heights on Black Friday promise more protests at the mall. They say they are seeking justice for the police shooting death of Terry Tillman outside the Galleria in August.
Community leaders met at the St. Paul AME Church in north St. Louis for a town hall to update the public about their meeting with the mayor and city manager of Richmond Heights.
The meeting discussed what the activists call an unjust shooting of Tillman who police say was armed with a gun at the Galleria.
St. Louis County police are investigating the August shooting and said the 23-year -old Tillman was a felon in possession of a gun.
The weapon being inside the Galleria is against mall policy. Investigators say when officers approached Tillman, he ran outside across the parking lot to a parking garage, raised the gun toward officers, and that is when he was shot and killed.
Activists met with the Richmond Heights mayor and city manager and say they are still waiting for answers to questions about the relationship police have with mall security. They also want to know if the police officers and mall security have undergone racial sensitivity training.
Activists also showed a video at the town hall meeting they claim shows an officer handling a firearm while wearing rubber gloves helps prove that officers planted a gun near Tillman.
“One of the questions raised was, ‘Was there an internal investigation done by Richmond Heights’ because it involved three Richmond Heights police officers. The answer was no,” said activist Rev. Darrell Gray.
Activist Tory Russell promised more protests at the Galleria.
“Now all you did is make more black people (and) more white people tired of this racial injustice,” he said. “We’re going back to the Galleria and march and protest and shut your whole facility down.”
The city of Richmond Heights issued a statement saying, “The integrity of the crime scene is not in question. Mr. Tillman was alive after the shooting and officers quickly performed CPR trying to save him. It is well-documented that his gun was secured during this time.”