Berkeley, Missouri – In the days following the controversial shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin, the mainstream media has accepted the police statement without question, relying on extremely poor surveillance footage to hold up the claim that the teenager pointed a gun at the police officer who shot him.
However, the video does not clearly show anything, the footage that the police have chosen to release is from so far away, that it is difficult to make out what is happening.
In one part of the video, the teen does appear to raise his hand towards the police officer, and while this could be consistent with the stance that someone takes while pointing a gun, it is also consistent with the stance that someone would take while pointing a cellphone camera.
— Dr. Cornel Fresh (@WyzeChef) December 25, 2014
Anyone who has dared to question the police statement in this case has faced attack and ridicule. Here at the The Free Thought Project we have asked many questions about this case, but we have not made any claims about what happened one way or another.
However, we have strongly questioned the police narrative, because as usual, there are many inconsistancies in the official version of events that has been put forward by police.
Planted weapons and censored or doctored video footage is a very serious reality, just as much as a mistaken or dishonest witness is a very serious reality. With that being the case, it is important to fully explore all of these possibilities when researching a situation like this.
In the case of Antonio Martin, there are a few very big questions that the police department’s statement leaves unanswered. The missing dash-cam and body-cam footage is essential in this case, because this footage would have actually been close enough to the situation to provide a clear picture of what happened.
Also, as PINAC points out the surveillance footage from the two subsequent videos was cropped. The dimensions of the two new videos are 640 x 360 while the dimensions of the first video is 640 x 480, meaning they cropped 25 percent from the height of the newly released videos.
St. Louis County police, which is investigating the incident, said they cut out the portion where Martin’s body falls to the ground out of respect for his family, but in doing so, they also cut out the portion where we might be able to see the gun falling from his hands as police said they found it near his body.
But Martin’s family is saying they want to see the actual evidence because they are not buying the official story. So police would be doing everybody a favor, including Martin’s family, by releasing all the footage without it being cropped.
Unfortunately, the police claim that the dash-camera was not on and that there was a mistake which led to the officer not wearing his body camera that night.
Also, as the police have described the events, the officer must have had incredible reaction time to be able to draw his weapon and shoot the young man. If Martin drew his weapon first, would he have not had far more time to pull the trigger than the officer did? It is possible that Martin could have froze and given the officer more time, but this was never brought up in the officers statement.
In the weeks and months to follow, there will likely be more details to surface, and it is up to the general population to investigate these issues, because the police obviously cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.