Given the rash of Black people being shot by police officers in the past few years, it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that a Black police officer would be shot by his own. A St. Louis officer was struck with “friendly fire” after a wild stolen car chase ended with members of the force not recognizing him and striking the officer in the arm.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
At Barnes-Jewish Hospital early Thursday, Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole told reporters the off-duty officer had come out of his home to help after the stolen car crashed nearby, and was hit in the crossfire between officers and suspects who had been in the car.
But police now say the off-duty officer was shot by a fellow cop who did not recognize him as an officer, in a separate encounter away from the initial crash.
According to a department summary of the incident released later Thursday, two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them.
Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man. He hit the off-duty officer in the arm, the department said.
Police later arrested a pair of Black teen suspects, both aged 17.
The 38-year-old cop who was shot has been with the St. Louis force for 11 years while the other officer who fired on him is 36 and employed with the force for 8 years. Enough time to perhaps recognize a colleague as did the officers who allowed him to get up and walk.
The takeaway from all this should be that if you’re Black, it’s best to stay low when police are attempting to do their jobs, even when you’re helping out.