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A prosecutor has charged two local cops for having opened fire on a criminal suspect who’d been on the verge of running them over.
According to reports, on Feb. 25 two Velda City officers — Christopher Gage, 37, and Matthew Schanz, 33 — pulled over a suspect identified only as A.A. because of his expired temporary tags.
As the two spoke to A.A., they detected the scent of marijuana and informed the suspect they needed to search his car. A.A. then sped off away from them, prompting Schanz to radio in that the suspect had just tried to run them over.
A.A. then quickly turned around at the end of the dead-end street and headed back towards the officers, spurring Gage and Schanz to step out into the middle of the road and order him to stop.
Schanz said in a statement to reporters Friday that he’d been “yelling, screaming” at the suspect to stop, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
But the suspect did not stop, so the officers opened fire and continued firing even as the suspect reportedly drove around them.
Schanz said he pulled the trigger “to save my life to go home that night to my family.”
He also reportedly noted that pedestrians and bystanders in the area were put in danger by the suspect’s actions.
“We are trained to neutralize that threat and that’s exactly what we were trying to do,” he told reporters, adding that officers are “not trained to turn around and run away.”
The driver reportedly suffered a “serious” but nonfatal injury and was able to flee the scene, though he wound up crashing his vehicle into another car about half a mile away. It’s unclear if the suspect was ever arrested and held accountable.
What’s known is that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, has absolutely chosen to hold Schanz and Gage accountable for firing non-fatal shots at the suspect who’d nearly run them over.
“The law is clear on when deadly force is appropriate, and this was an ordinance violation. This was a traffic stop. Using deadly force in a situation like this is not legal or justified,” he announced at a press conference Friday as he charged the two with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.
He also accused the two of trying “to search the car without probable cause,” of “falsely” reporting “that A.A. had tried to run them over” and of going “against the law.”
See footage from the presser below:
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell is talking to the media about recent incidents https://t.co/D4jprCh1dj
— KSDK News (@ksdknews) July 24, 2020
Schanz can be seen at the end of the video telling his side of the story.
“There are two sides to a story, and our side hadn’t come out yet,” he said, adding that he’d been on the way to turn himself in when he saw the conference and decided it was the right time to speak out.
“For my partner and I, it’s really hurt us both,” he said of Bell’s charges.
He noted that he’s been on medical leave for PTSD ever since the shooting.
“We are going to plead not guilty and fight the charges,” his attorney reportedly added.
The charging of these two officers comes roughly a month after a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, charged two officers for having opened fire on a suspect who’d resisted arrest, stolen their taser and then fired it at them.
These prosecutions seem to fit a pattern of public officials purposefully threatening and going after both the police and law-abiding citizens. It’s a pattern that began to emerge after the George Floyd riots and Black Lives Matter cultural revolution that erupted at the beginning of the summer.
This week St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged a couple for having waved weapons to scare off a mob of 300+ “protesters” who’d trespassed into their neighborhood and onto their property.
And over in Philadelphia, this week Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner threatened to prosecute any federal agents who overstep their bounds by trying to “assault” or “kidnap” Black Lives Matter “protesters” and rioters.
— Alex Silverman (@AlexSilverman) July 20, 2020
The threat was based on the claim that federal troops have been assaulting and kidnapping rioters in Portland, Oregon. In reality, the troops have been defending themselves from attacks and, in some cases, apprehending rioters.
The anti-law and order sentiment has even spread to the top echelons of state governments, with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum having submitted a motion demanding a restraining order against federal officers trying to stop the violence and mayhem in Portland.
But on Friday, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled against that request on the basis that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the federal authorities were abusing their authority and power.
Back in St. Louis, the prosecutor responsible for Gage and Shanz’s woes is — much like his colleagues across the country — a far-left activist.
After the shooting of Mike Brown by a St. Louis police officer six years ago, he “joined the demonstrations demanding justice for Brown,” according to The Guardian.
It was later found by the Obama Justice Department that the shooting had been wholly justified, and that the “hands up, don’t shoot” that activists like Shanz had touted was 100 percent fiction.
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