Hoskins weighed in on Martin’s fatal shooting during a press conference on Christmas Eve. According to reports, 18-year-old Martin aimed a loaded gun at the white police officer that shot him. The shooting took place at a gas station less than five miles from Ferguson, the location where officer Darren Wilson, who is white, killed Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
The Huffington Post noted that the incident was captured on the gas station’s surveillance video. Although the officer involved in Martin’s shooting was issued a body camera, he was not wearing it during the encounter. In addition, the officer’s dashboard camera wasn’t activated.
“We say ‘black lives matter,’ this was not the case,” said Hoskins, who mentioned that the video shows Martin pointing a gun at the officer, whose name was not released. “You can’t even compare this with Ferguson or the Garner case in New York. … We have the video and I can assure you that what’s on the video is what we’re going to use.”
Hoskins pointed out that the officer in the video ran backwards and began shooting before falling onto his back. Unlike Ferguson, the mayor added that blacks make up the majority of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley and its police force.
“The mayor is black, the city manager is black, the financial director is black. And I believe the police chief is black,” he said. “In a city that’s 85 percent black, we are majority of the police department. That’s how we are different than the city of Ferguson. In addition there was no video in Ferguson. We have video.”
In addition to condolences for Martin’s family, Hoskins encouraged the public to reach out to the officer who shot Martin.
“We should all put our arms around the police officer to make sure that he has all the needs and the help to bring him through this,” Hoskins said. “So on one hand the family, and on the other hand our police officers,” said Hoskins, who added that a separate investigation from the St. Louis County Police Department would be conducted.
“I can assure you that what happened last night was we had a policeman responding to a call,” he said. “The video shows that Antonio pointed a gun at the officer.”