According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and local news outlet Fox2Now, a white St. Louis police officer shot a black off-duty officer from his own force after a car chase ended in a crash outside the off-duty officer’s home.
The African American officer, who has not yet been identified, came outside of his home while off-duty after hearing the commotion from a car chase that ended nearby. Despite identifying himself as a cop, the man was ordered to the ground by two officers. He complied, and soon after, they recognized him and told him to get up.
That was when a third officer entered the scene, and because he did not recognize the black off-duty cop and claimed to “fear for his safety,” shot the off-duty cop in the arm.
The Post-Dispatch reported that police are calling the incident an example of “friendly fire” due to the suspects from the car chase firing at police. The paper also reported that police initially claimed that the 38-year-old African American officer, who has been on the force for 11 years, was “caught in the crossfire.”
“This is the first time that we are aware, that a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street. This is a real problem,” Rufus J. Tate Jr., the attorney for the injured off-duty officer, told the local Fox affiliate.
“In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received. So we have a real problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared,” the attorney concluded.