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Authorities in St. Louis County, Mo. say refute allegations that they exercised excessive force during the arrest of a man charged for shooting two police officers in Ferguson, Mo. last week.
Jeffrey Williams, 20, was arrested last Thursday morning outside of the police station in Ferguson. According to the Associated Press, a 41-year-old officer in St. Louis County was hit in the shoulder, while a 32-year-old Webster Groves, Mo. officer was struck in the cheek. Williams was arrested on Sunday and charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action, and firing a weapon from a vehicle.
The Associated Press adds that Jerryl Christmas, Williams' lawyer, cites bruises on Williams' back and a lump on his head as evidence that police were violent with his client. In a statement, the St. Louis County Police Department dismissed these claims:
With regard to the allegations that Jeffrey Williams was beaten by police, the St. Louis County Police Department calls these allegations completely false, Sgt. Brian Schellman said in a statement. Immediately following the arrest, arresting officers transported Williams to St. Louis County Police Headquarters where he was interviewed by Crimes Against Persons Detectives. This entire interview was video and audio recorded.
Christmas also notes that, while Williams has acknowledged that he shot the officers, the shooting was not intentional. "This wasn't any type of ambush shooting," he told the Associated Press. "Those officers were shot accidentally."
Williams appeared in court yesterday, and his case was continued until March 31.
[via Associated Press and CNN]