- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new unit that investigates police shootings will soon send its report on an 18-year-old’s death to prosecutors, according to the St. Louis police chief.

Police chief Sam Dotson said Thursday the Force Investigation Unit will submit its report on the October killing of VonDerrit Myers Jr. next week. A report on the August fatal shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, who died before the unit was established, will be finished by the end of November, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1rGQ09e ) reported.

Dotson said any parts of the reports subject to Missouri’s open records laws would be released to the public after prosecutors review them and decide if criminal charges should be issued. Names of the officers who fired the fatal shots could be released, but will be subject to a “threat assessment” of whether identifying them would be a safety risk, he said.

The officers’ lawyers would get copies of the reports whenever the public does, Dotson said.

Lauren Trager, spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, said in an email that it’s unclear how long it will take to determine whether charges will be issued since the Myers case was the first to be reviewed by the new unit.

“Our team, however, will work as expeditiously as possible to reach a conclusion on the matter,” Trager wrote.

The department hasn’t released the name of the off-duty officer who shot Myers in the Shaw neighborhood. The officer was on patrol as a private security guard, but wearing his police uniform and carrying his department-issued gun. Police say Myers shot at the officer, who returned fire, but lawyers for Myers’ family say he was unarmed.

Authorities say Powell was shot after he moved toward officers with a knife.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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