Although police in Missouri have yet to officially release the name of the police officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old man named Antonio Martin last month, we have determined his name is Andrew Weusthoff, a seemingly nice guy with a sense of humor judging by his Facebook page, which no longer exists.
The officer’s name was inadvertently released by the St. Louis County police department on Monday after we made a public records request for the full, unedited video as well as the incident report.
We still have not received the full video footage of the incident, but the report we received listed an assault on a law enforcement officer, listing Weusthoff as the victim, which makes sense because police have said from the beginning that he was defending himself after Martin pulled a gun on him.
That report also states the case was “exceptionally cleared,” which is a phrase police use to close a case when circumstances prevent an officer from making an arrest as would happen when a suspect is dead.
However, three days later, we were contacted by the St. Louis County Police Department, who informed us that the initial report was no longer valid, sending us an “updated” report.
The updated report, which they sent us today, now states that it is a “homicide” investigation, instead of an assault on a police officer.
And this time, the victim is listed as Martin.
Also, not only was “Weusthoff’s name nowhere on the second report, the case was once again listed as “active,” contradicting what Berkeley police and city officials told the media Tuesday during a press conference that they had conducted their own investigation and determined that the officer shot Martin in self-defense.
The press conference seemed more of a ceremonial gesture as they were not even the main agency investigating the incident, but nevertheless, the news was reported widely, even though the Berkeley Police Department did not provide any fresh details besides mentioning there were now “several witnesses” that confirmed the story, who remained nameless.
The official investigation is being conducted by the St. Louis County Police Department, who say the case is still open, even though their own records indicated the case was closed earlier this week.
Most people keeping up with the stories seem to take the word of police, judging by comments on social media, even though police have not released the full videos, mainly the portion that would show the actual gun.
So far, police have released three clips, one showing Martin lifting his hand towards Weushoff as if he had a gun, but the video is dark and grainy and it is impossible to tell if Martin was holding a gun, a phone or anything at all.
The other two showing the cop and witnesses scurrying for cover after Weushoff fired three times as he falls on his back, evidently believing Martin had a gun.
Martin, who was pronounced dead shortly after he was shot, is cropped from two of the videos as you can see in the video below and as we discussed here. The alleged gun is also cropped from those clips.
Police say they did that out of respect for his family, but his family has been asking to see the video.
Police also say they found a loaded 9-millimeter Martin’s body with the serial numbers scraped off, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he actually had a gun, considering police have long used “throwdown” guns to plant as “evidence” when they happen to kill an unarmed citizen.
We are not saying that is the case here, but unless they release the full video, we cannot rule it out either.
All we are asking for is transparency.
Ed. Note: “The second clip below includes radio traffic between dispatchers and Berkeley police from that night, which we obtained through a public records request.” was the original ending of the story, but the audio was embedded and is missing at this time 3/29/2016.