A video has recently surfaced that shows an African American who was killed by St. Louis County police officers just weeks ago protesting against police brutality. The theme of the protest, and its catchline of sorts, was “Please don’t shoot me dead.” But only months after being filmed at this protest, 23-year-old Thaddeus McCarroll was shot dead by the police.
The protest took place on August 17, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The video was taken by photojournalist David Carson who recorded McCarroll chanting along with the rest of the protesters near Ferguson, Missouri, only eight days after Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown.
The video shows the group chanting: “I got my hands on my head… please don’t shoot me dead.”
Fast forward eight months, and McCarroll was murdered by the police.
Carson re-posted the video on Vine and tweeted the caption identifying McCarroll as the protester “sitting on the left.”
— David Carson (@PDPJ) April 20, 2015
McCarroll was killed by St. Louis County Police’s Tactical Operations Unit in Jennings, Missouri, at the home of McCarroll’s mother. She had called the police, telling them he was acting in a manner “not normal” for the youth. We reported on this killing shortly after it happened, but outside of alternative media outlets, the story received relatively little attention nationally.
Police claim that McCarroll was walking through the house carrying “several knives and a samurai sword.” But whether that was true or not, all eyewitness sources agree that he never charged police officers or anyone else.
Instead, he was said to have walked outside of the house holding a knife and a Bible. Eyewitnesses say that he never charged police, but the department later claimed that he did and that they tried everything to disarm him with less-than-lethal rounds before fatally shooting him with standard rounds.
In an attempt to verify their claims, the police department released body camera footage that is so broken and grainy that it is essentially worthless.
“My officers took every precaution to safely resolve this situation,” Police Chief Jon Belmar said to local reporters.