Protesters Gather on Christmas Eve in Honor of Antonio Martin

Demonstrators gathered to mourn the death of Antonio Smith, the 18-year-old man that was fatally shot by a Berkeley, Missouri police officer.

On the heels of the recent police shooting of Antonio Martin, protestors gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, Missouri to mourn his death.

According to the Huffington Post, the demonstrators lit candles and held posters in memory of Martin, the 18-year-old who was shot Tuesday evening by Berkeley, Missouri police.

"The intent is to gather people in honor of him and other people who have been slain by police," Lydia Marie, 23, an intern for Amnesty International and coordinator for the demonstration. "This is another Christmas Eve a family is spending without their child who was lost to police violence."

Keanna Brown, Martin's girlfriend remarked on the events saying that he "didn't deserve to die." "I should’ve been there to protect him. That’s all I wanted," said Brown.

Martin's death took place just a few miles from where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police Officer Darren Wilson.

Berkeley Mayor Theodore Haskins addressed the shooting in a press conference Wednesday saying that Martin's death shouldn't be compared with Michael Brown's.

"You can’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York," said Hoskins. "We have the video and I can assure you that what’s on the video is what we’re going to use."

Hoskins referred to the surveillance footage from the Mobil gas station where the incident took place that showed Martin pointing a gun at the police officer, who then ran backward and opened fire. The officer was not using the body camera he had recently been issued, and the camera on the dashboard of his patrol car had not been activated.

The police officer's name has not been released.

The news comes amidst the recent grand jury decision in Texas not to indict a Houston police officer in the shooting death of 26-year-old Jordan Baker, who was black and unarmed.

 

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