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Tags: Jon Belmar | police | deaths | racism

St. Louis Police Chief: Brown, Garner Deaths Not Racism

By    |   Wednesday, 03 December 2014 10:40 PM EST

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says the two recent U.S. deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers did not result from racism.

Belmar, appearing Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," said the Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City cases were not based on racism by the officers involved, and that tying them to racism actually marginalizes the message of protesters.

Protests began in Ferguson and across the country last week when a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Protests began anew on Wednesday when a New York City grand jury refused to indict Patrolman Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The Justice Department is conducting a civil-rights investigation into the Ferguson case, and Attorney General Eric Holder has told Garner's family there will be a similar probe into that case.

Garner can be seen on video saying "I can't breathe" as officers subdue him for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally on the street. In the Ferguson case, Wilson said he shot Brown after he continued charging at him after Wilson repeatedly warned him to stop.

A press conference by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday angered many because he seemed to side against his police officers, joining those who say racism played a role in Garner's death.

"It's counterproductive to dialogue," the St. Louis chief told Fox News. "If we can't get away from this racist beast, then it's very difficult to move forward."

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Headline
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says the two recent U.S. deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers did not result from racism.
Jon Belmar, police, deaths, racism
259
2014-40-03
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 10:40 PM
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