Protests Over The Antonio Martin Shooting Continue Into Christmas Day In Berkeley, Missouri
Protests held in response to the fatal shooting of 18 year-old Antonio Martin in Berkeley, Missouri have continued into Christmas. The shooting occurred just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri, where teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot in August, the impetus for months of unrest in the area and around the country. On Wednesday night, protesters briefly shut down Interstate 170 in the St Louis suburb. About 300 people gathered at the gas station where Martin was shot, some throwing rocks and bricks and then marching down the highway before returning to the gas station. Of the gas station demonstration and subsequent march, Police Chief Frank McCall told KMOV-TV that between six and eight people were arrested.
In a troubling video posted on The Guardian, a demonstrator films as she describes the scene in detail. You can hear the hoarse voices of police officers as they scream at the crowd and the wails of protestors. The video ends with the woman allegedly being pepper sprayed as she tells police she's just filming, not behaving violently or aggressively. You can watch it here.
Later, just before a Christmas Eve midnight Mass, a peaceful candlelight vigil was held outside Cathedral Basilica. Protesters held signs and candles on the sidewalk in front of the church as members of the community entered for the traditional Mass.
Police in riot gear watched from the steps of the church, but the action remained quiet and the mood decidedly mournful.
The most moving images and footage, perhaps, are those of Antonio Martin's family arriving at vigils held in his honor. In one video on The Guardian, his mother, Toni Martin, tearfully tells a reporter that she doesn't know exactly what happened at the gas station the night her son was shot dead, and that she wishes she had answers. You can watch it here.
Across social media, people are mourning the loss of the 18-year-old and sharing messages of support for his family during what could only be a shocking and unbearably painful holiday season.