Leaders in the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley are trying desperately to distinguish the police killing of 18-year-old Antonio Martin on Dec. 23 from that of Michael Brown in Ferguson 4½ months earlier, which sparked months of racially charged protests and put law enforcement under a national microscope, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Yesterday, Berkeley's mayor, police chief and other officials announced that a city investigation determined that the officer, who is white, was in fear for his life and justified to shoot Martin, who was black.
They said there was evidence that Martin pointed a gun at the officer in a convenience store parking lot. It's a sharp contrast to the Ferguson investigation, in which information trickled out over four months. That culminated just before Thanksgiving when a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, a white officer who killed a black teen, Brown, in a street confrontation. Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins has pointed to the city's mostly African-American leadership and the fact that the incident was captured on surveillance video to contrast Martin's killing with Brown's.