A wheelchair-bound live streamer said police confiscated her phone as “evidence” this morning after two cops were shot during a protest in Ferguson.
But the footage ended up online, capturing the sounds of gunshots and what appears to be the cries of a man in pain, apparently one of the cops who had just been shot.
The grainy footage also captures what appears to be the flash of a muzzle, but it does not capture the actual shooter nor does it capture the two cops who were shot, one who was shot in the face, the other who was shot in the shoulder.
Both are listed in “serious” condition.
Witnesses reported the shots came from a home up a hill across the Ferguson Police Department where protests have taken place almost daily since the August police shooting death of an 18-year-old man named Michael Brown with tensions continuing to run high after a scathing Department of Justice report, leading to the resignation of its embattled police chief, who will remain on the job for another week.
As of this writing, about six hours after the shooting, no arrests have been made.
The live streamer, whose name is Heather De Mian, posted the following on Twitter, where she goes by the username, @MissJupiter1957.
As of this time, she has not responded to interview requests from PINAC for further details. Here are clips from her live stream channel of the protest prior to the shooting.
Under the law, police can only confiscate cameras without a subpoena if it has been used in the commission of a crime or if there are perceived “exigent circumstances,” meaning there is probable cause to believe the footage will be destroyed, which is a habit that police mostly practice.
They are also supposed to ask the citizen for a copy of the footage if they believe it contains evidence, giving the citizen the opportunity to provide the footage without having it subpoenaed.
Heather posted on Twitter that she offered to provide them the archived footage, but they insisted on seizing her phone anyway, damaging what she referred to as the “charging card.”
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The shots were fired just after midnight as police were confronting protesters who had gathered outside the police station.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said one officer was with his department and the other was with the Webster Groves department. Both were being treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where Belmar spoke, and were in serious condition.
The chief said at least three shots were fired. He described the injuries of both men as “very serious gunshot injuries.”
The Webster Groves officer was shot in the face. He is 32 and has been on the force seven years.
The county officer was hit in the shoulder. That officer is 41 and has been on the force for 14 years.
Belmar said no suspects have been identified in the shootings.
The video captures the tense moments after the shooting, showing protesters scrambling for cover and police pulling out their guns as well as a man continuing to barbecue during the chaos.
De Mian, who has been live streaming protests from Ferguson for months, was arrested last month during a protest where she said police pulled her out of her wheelchair.
The footage of the shooting ended up on somebody else’s Youtube channel with the watermark “@matthewkeyslive,” which she said on Twitter has no connection to her.
Although Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson will resign March 19, which he described as a “hard pill to swallow,” he will continue to receive another year of salary, according to CNN.
Come back later for updates.