Christina Gardner, The Black Bear – Dec. 23 at 11:15 p.m. Antonio Martin, 18, was fatally shot by a Berkeley police officer while leaving a Mobil gas station on the corner of North Hanley Road and Frost Avenue in Berkeley, MO, a city very close to Ferguson.
The shooting ignited a sense of rage in several members the community who say they feel that this is another name for the lists of black men who have wrongfully been killed by law enforcement.
Scene at Mobil Gas Station in Berkeley, Mo. following shooting. Photo credit: Alex Scott
A few students from Missouri State University joined demonstrators and inquirers at the Mobil gas station to express their concern and to have their questions answered.
Alex Scott, an electronic arts audio major from MSU, says he felt urged to go join the demonstrators when he heard about the shooting via Twitter. Scott is a former resident of Berkeley who still has great deal of family who reside in the area.
“I know that at any point it could have been one of mine,” Scott said in reference to the shooting.
Scott says when he arrived on the scene, dozens of police cars were blocking each intersection surrounding the gas station. He says the crowd was fueled with anger and the police who surrounded the gas station had cold faces.
“A few of them were even giggling,” Scott said.
Scott explained that a few of the demonstrators were skeptical of the police’s handling of the evidence. The police report from the St. Louis County Police Department and the statements from the mayor of Berkeley stated that Martin had a gun that he pointed at the officer.
“We were out there for hours and didn’t see a gun,” Scott said, who was at the scene until roughly 4 a.m.
Scott says one of the most heart aching parts of the night to him was seeing Martin’s body taken away in a minivan.
“Some people who were there before I was say that he was laying there twitching and breathing for about 20 minutes after he was shot,” Scott said.
Scott went on to say that the demonstration remained mostly calm considering the circumstances. Scott said that his contacts were effected by the pepper spray police officers used on the crowd.
He says a QuikTrip across the street was set on fire, but that protestors and police helped put the fire out immediately.
Scott has been a part of a number of demonstrations that have happened thus far at MSU involving the aftermath of Ferguson and treatment of black men by law enforcement. He feels that this incident will ignite similar protests when school resumes in January.
“This s*** keeps happening and we need more people to stand up,” Scott said.
As more information on the fatal police shooting of Antonio Martin and events surrounding it surface, the Black Bear will continue to report.