Wellston, MO– Former St. Louis City police officer Eddie Simmons is speaking out after witnessing police shoot at an unarmed man during an incident that he says, went too far. To make things even crazier, the officer involved never even bothered to report the shooting to his department.
Simmons was driving down the road when he saw it all unfold. The officer involved was in pursuit of the suspect who had allegedly stolen a car, when the suspect jumped out and began to try to run. That is when Simmon’s says the officer went too far and shot at the unarmed suspect.
“He pulled his gun out, I’m thinking, I know he’s not- before I could get it out of my mind, I know he’s not- POW… yes, he did.” Simmons told KMOV. “There’s no such thing as warning shots in Missouri, there is no such thing as that. To fire your gun because you cant catch a person? No.” he continued on to say.
When questioned by the media after Simmons came forward calling out what he saw, the department had no idea what they were talking about. The officer involved just “forgot” to report it since his shot had missed the suspect. He claims that his weapon had gone off “accidentally.”
Shockingly, the department is actually defending the reckless officer, and his only consequence has been a five-day suspension for failing to report the incident and for violating pursuit policy.
“If this officer concealed the shooting in the first place, can his version of events be trusted? That’s possible and we took that into consideration,” said Wellston Police Department Chief G.T Walker told KMOV after being questioned on the officer’s integrity. “Prior to this, he’s been a good officer. We haven’t had any problems with him… With an accidental discharge, that would be a bit different because there was no criminal intent,” Walker said. “I do believe him [the officer],” he continued on to say.
The officer was wearing a body camera at the time, but as usual, it was not turned on.
In 1985, the Supreme Court ruled on the case of Tennessee v. Garner, a 15 year old boy who was shot in the back of the head by a police officer as he attempted to flee after a robbery. The court ruled that cops could no longer legally kill someone only for attempting to escape. The officer must now have a reasonable belief that the suspect poses a dangerous threat to someone or had committed a violent felony.
This officer claims it was an accident, however, his integrity is severely questionable having already concealed that he shot at an unarmed suspect in the first place. Had the roles been reversed, and the suspect accidentally shot at the officer, nobody would just take his word for it without so much as an investigation. In fact, if anyone at all who is not protected by a badge “accidentally” fired at someone they would be arrested and investigated, without question.
This mentality that the police are infallible needs to end. The real world is not an episode of Law and Order where the ends always justify the means.