By Cleve R. Wootson Jr., washingtonpost.com
A “friendly fire” incident in which an off-duty St. Louis policeman was shot while coming to the aid of fellow officers has taken on racial overtones after an incendiary claim by the injured officer’s attorney: The officer was viewed as a threat because he was black.
The St. Louis Police Department has not identified any of the officers involved in Wednesday night’s incident. The officer who shot the off-duty policeman is white. All seven officers involved are on administrative leave as the department sorts out what happened.
What is known is that officers with an anti-crime task force were tracking a car that was stolen from the Maryland Heights community after its license plate had been detected by an automatic reader Wednesday night, interim police chief Lawrence O’Toole told reporters.