The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office will not file charges against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer involved in the shooting death of VonDerrit Myers, Jr., on October 8, 2014, in the Shaw neighborhood.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce released her findings Monday after an independent investigation by prosecutors in her office along with an Assistant U.S. Attorney. The shooting death of Myers, who is black, by the officer, who is white, led to angry protests. The incident occurred just two months after the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson.
The report says it “does not dispute” that the unnamed police officer shot Myers and Myers died as a result of those injuries. But it says in conclusion, “Given all the available facts, witness statements, physical and forensic evidence, and for the reasons outlined in the discussion above, prosecutors have determined a criminal violation could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, charges will not be filed in this case.”
In a news release, the Circuit’s Attorney’s office says its investigation concluded that Myers did have a gun on the night of his death. It also says that multiple witnesses confirmed there was gunfire from both directions and from two different guns at the scene. Ballistics evidence confirms that two different guns were fired. And no witness claims to have seen the officer alter evidence in any way. It also says that there are witnesses that describe how Myers illegally came into possession of the Smith and Wesson firearm used that night.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson released the following statement, in which he identifies the officer involved as Jason Flanery.
Today, the Circuit Attorney’s Office concluded its review of the officer-involved shooting of VonDerrit Myers. The Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis, is confident the Circuit Attorney’s Office has conducted a comprehensive review of the incident and all of the facts and evidence presented to them.
On October 8, 2014, VonDerrit Myers was shot and fatally wounded by a St. Louis police officer in the 4100 block of Shaw. On December 5, the department’s Force Investigative Unit concluded its investigation into the incident and referred its findings to the Circuit Attorney’s Office. The Circuit Attorney’s Office then conducted an independent investigation and has determined the officer involved in the incident, Police Officer Jason Flanery, will not face charges. Officer Flanery has over six years of service with the department and was working department-approved secondary at the time of the incident.
We appreciate the community’s patience as this investigation was conducted and commend the dedicated and thorough work of both the Circuit Attorney’s Office and the Force Investigative Unit. I have pledged transparency to the citizens of St. Louis and am committed to upholding this promise.
Jerryl Christmas, the attorney for the Myers family, told FOX 2 “I’m not shocked. I never thought they would have the courage to bring charges.” He compared the situation to the recent officer involved shooting in South Carolina, only this one was not caught on video. He says the family still does not believe Myers ever had a weapon, and that the one found at the scene was planted by the officer. They plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit.