Lawyers for the family of 18 year old VonDerrit Myers Jr., who was shot and killed by an off duty St Louis police officer, decided to release the officer’s name to the public. Now we know it was Jason Flanery who shot at VonDerrit 17 times, with 6 of those shots hitting him from behind, consistent with VonDerrit running away. To make matters worse, Officer Flaney was not on duty. Flanery was working as a private security guard, even though he was in uniform with his department issued gun, when he executed a “pedestrian check” on VonDerrit and his friends. Witnesses said VonDerrit was “begging for his life” before he was killed by Officer Flanery.
Almost immediately, the St Louis Police Department put out a story that VonDerrit had a gun and shot at Officer Flanery. However, Vonderrit’s DNA was not found on the gun the police recovered from the scene. Also, surveillance footage shows VonDerrit buying a sandwich minutes before he was gunned down. In the footage, VonDerrit’s pants are shown sagging well below his waste and his underwear is visible. Witnesses said from day one that all VonDerrit had in his hand that night was a sandwich. Don’t forget just a few months earlier, St Louis Police Officers were caught on tape planting a gun on a young Black man to force his cooperation.
Not surprising, is the fact that Officer Flanery has made racially charged comments and has a violent past. Myers family lawyer Jermaine Wotten said, “repeated disparaging remarks about blacks in Flanery’s postings reflected a “strong negatively biased view of African-Americans.” Officer Flanery also criticized liberals and homosexuals and said First Lady Michelle Obama, “looks drunk, high, and dumb as hell.” Officer Flanery was also arrested on weapons chargers in high school and charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a small fine. Unlike VonDerrit who faced his own weapons charge, Officer Flanery was able to move on with his life. Sadly, Flanery ended VonDerrict’s attempt to do the same.
The picture below, taken by St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photojournalist Robert Cohen, shows Officer Flanery in full military gear in Ferguson, MO after residents took to the streets to protest the shooting of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Flanery was one of the officers who besieged Ferguson, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protestors and arresting journalists. So, If you’re wondering why people have continued to protest for over 100 days just to get an indictment in Michael Brown’s death, remember a off duty St Louis police officer doing a “pedestrian check” killed a teenager under very questionable circumstances and almost 2 months later the St Louis police department hadn’t even released his name.