Police Officer Who Shot Man in Missouri Did Not Have Body Cam Activated

PHOTO: Police respond to the scene of an officer-involved shooting near Ferguson, Missouri, Dec. 23, 2014.PlayKTVI
WATCH Body Cam Not Activated During Missouri Police Shooting

The police officer who shot and killed a man on Tuesday in Berkeley, Missouri, was given a body camera but it was not activated at the time of the shooting, officials said today.

The shooting sparked new unrest in a region already reeling following an August police shooting a few miles away in Ferguson. About 200 to 300 protesters gathered at the gas station where Tuesday night's shooting happened.

When asked whether he was concerned that the officer's body cam was not activated, Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said he was "not concerned."

"At this point it's relatively new," Hoskins said of the body cameras. "We only have three [body cams], so if it had been six months from today and we had gone through all the training I would have some concerns."

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But since authorities have the gas station surveillance video that shows the interaction, Hoskins said he wasn't concerned about the lack of body cam footage.

"It would've been helpful, and in the future and when we get well trained, there will be a severe penalty for an officer who does not turn it on," Hoskins added.

The shooting happened at 11:15 p.m. Tuesday at a Mobil gas station, St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar said in a separate, earlier news conference this morning.

Belmar said police visited the gas station when a report of a larceny came in. The victim, who is 18 years old, pointed a gun at the officer, sparking the deadly shooting, Belmar said.

PHOTO: St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar speaks at a press conference, Dec. 24, 2014.KTVI
St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar speaks at a press conference, Dec. 24, 2014.

St. Louis County Police released surveillance video today showing the moments before the shooting. The officer can be seen parking his vehicle, and it appears as if a conversation ensues. While it is difficult to discern what is occurring in the video captured from the side of the building, the man's arm appears to be raised but it is unclear whether he is holding anything.