The girlfriend of a black teenager who was shot and killed by police near Ferguson, Missouri after allegedly pulling a weapon on an officer has opened up about the incident, saying he didn’t deserve to die.
The girlfriend of 18-year-old Antonio Martin, identified by the Huffington Post as Keanna Brown, was mourning as she visited the Mobil gas station where he was killed in Berkeley, Missouri.
“He didn’t deserve to die,” Brown told The Huffington Post. “He was so scared, I’m telling you, he was so scared. He looked at me like ‘Baby, please jump in between and say something to save me.'”
The 19-year-old said she arrived after Martin was shot. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that Martin pointed a weapon at the officer, who then opened fire.
Surveillance video footage showed the officer backpedalling quickly before he stumbled and fell down. Belmar said the officer fired three shots.
Brown alleged that it took 30 minutes for an ambulance to get to the scene. She claimed first responders hung up on her when she requested emergency help.
She also claimed she was prohibited to provide help or comfort Martin as the medical team arrived. “You can’t tell me you don’t care about my baby being dead over there and you still got his body down,” Brown said.
Several hundred protesters congregated on the gas station to speak out against his death. And on Thursday, even more protesters attempted to shut down a local highway
The mayor of Berkeley, Theodore Hoskins, said Martin’s death should not be compared with the deaths of Ferguson’s Michael Brown in August or New York City’s Eric Garner earlier this year.
“We say ‘black lives matter,’ this was not the case,” Hoskins said. “You can’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York.”
Compared with Ferguson, Hoskins noted, Berkeley has “a majority of black officers in our city. The major is black. The city manager is black. The finance director is black. The police chief is black … our experience is different.”
Both Hoskins and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar extended their condolences to the family of Martin and the officer who was involved in the shooting.