A black teenager is dead after a St. Louis police officer shot and killed him on Wednesday. No, this isn't a rerun. This is a new story, one St. Louis police are eager to prove is nothing at all like the shooting of Michael Brown in August. And it's not -- because this time, the police let us know immediately that the deceased definitely started it and definitely had it coming.

According to St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson, the deceased 18-year-old was "no stranger to law enforcement," although Dotson wouldn't elaborate, out of an arbitrary privacy concern that permits him to only vaguely suggest that the suspect was definitely some sort of unspecified had-it-coming thug. We can only guess how many loitering arrests were on his record.

It all started, according to Dotson, when the police officer who was off duty at the time but in his uniform was minding his own business while patrolling on behalf of his department-approved second job at a private security company, when he stopped to do a "pedestrian check." No, we have no idea what the hell a "pedestrian check" is or why someone working for a private security company would have the authority to do that. And no, the police department has not explained it either.

While on patrol, the officer saw three black males run away as he approached. He gave chase, because one of them was holding up his pants in a way that made the officer believe the teen may be carrying a gun, Dotson said.

We don't know exactly how one holds one's pants to indicate that one is carrying a gun, but the police officer has six years of experience, as Dotson pointed out, so he's probably pretty good at spotting that sort of thing. While he was chasing these black men in his patrol car and then on foot at some point, because not wanting to stick around when approached by a police officer is highly suspicious, and also with the pants thing, the off-duty cop somehow ended up in a "physical altercation" with one of the teens, who stopped running away to aggressively attack the cop, but then ran away some more, but then turned around and fired at least three shots at the officer, who obviously feared for his own safety and shot back 17 times in self-defense until the teen was dead.

The police department also says a 9 mm handgun was recovered at the scene, which implies that the deceased teen really did have a gun in his pants and really did fire at the police officer, who was not harmed in any way.

To further complicate the story, among the crowd that gathered shortly after the shooting was a woman claiming to be the deceased's cousin. And she says he was carrying a sandwich, not a gun. How does she know this? We have no idea. We aren't even sure of the deceased's name, who, according to various people claiming to be his relatives, was either Vonderrit or Vonderrick Myers Jr.

Basically, we don't know diddly squat, except that a black man is dead because a white police officer shot him, quite possibly in justified self-defense, although he might not have needed to defend himself if he hadn't pursued the teens in the first place for his "pedestrian check" -- and also with the pants! Also, we know the residents of St. Louis, who are still mad as hell from the last time that happened, are even more mad as hell now.

Stupidest Man on the Internet Jim Hoft has this breathless, randomly emphasized report:

The protesters are screaming at the police and attacking police cars after a teen was killed when he fired at an officer.

Channel 2 says police cars were attacked!

Protesters are busting windows in police cars!

That a man is dead is incidental in Hoft's, er, mind; it's those hateful protestors who crawl out of the woodwork when some cop shoots some teenager who are the real problem. And even worse, they're now "spreading rumors that the teen was tased first." We don't know if that's true or not -- as far as we can tell, the police department has said nothing about it either way -- but why should that stop Hoft from assuming that it's probably not true? He also has this warning:

This could get really ugly. Ferguson is a playground compared to certain neighborhoods in St. Louis city.

That's actually a pretty good point. You know how those rough neighborhoods can get when a white cop kills a black teenager under somewhat questionable circumstances. (Seriously, what the hell is a pedestrian check? We really want to know.) If only those "certain neighborhoods" would just leave well enough alone, this whole thing could go away and not get ugly. Except for the dead kid, but come on. He was no stranger to law enforcement, after all, so he probably had it coming. But we'll wait to see if he also smoked the marijuana and listened to jazz music before we jump to any conclusions.

You can watch the police chief's press conference here.

[CNN/LA Times]


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