A St. Louis police group is doing all it can to help a veteran officer whose career came to a screeching halt after he was injured in an incident of “friendly fire” last year.
According to the Riverfront Times, the city’s Ethical Society of Police a hosting a fundraiser on behalf of Officer Milton Green, who was shot by a fellow officer in June 2017 while trying to help arrest a group of car thieves. Green survived, but his injuries ultimately kept him from continuing his job on the force.
“Prior to his career ending injury, Officer Green was his family’s primary breadwinner,” the organization said in a press release. “He is now forced to apply for disability, struggling to support his family and is having a hard time meeting his children’s needs.”
Details surrounding the shooting always came into question, especially after the department couldn’t seem to get its story straight.
The drama unfolded as St. Louis officers pursued a trio of thieves in a high-speed chase across town that ended in a crash just outside Green’s home in the city’s North Pointe neighborhood. The chase began shortly after 10 p.m. when a police license plate reader flagged the vehicle as stolen.
Police spike strips eventually brought the speeding thieves to a crashing stop, after which the suspects fled, all while still exchanging gunfire with police. That’s when Green, who was off-duty at the time, heard the commotion and left his home, service weapon in tow, to help his fellow officers.
Things quickly went left, however, as Green was ordered to the ground by two officers already on the scene. He complied. The officers eventually recognized him, and the 11-year veteran was told he could get up.
A third officer arrived on the scene, however, who didn’t recognize Greene and wound up shooting him in the arm. The off-duty cop was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
Meanwhile, the 36-year-old white officer, who still has yet to be identified, told investigators he “feared for his safety.”
Then-police chief Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole initially described the incident as a case of “friendly fire,” claiming the 38-year-old Black officer had gotten “caught in the crossfire” between police and the armed suspects. However, a summary of the incident released by the department revealed Green had actually been shot by a fellow officer.
That officer was later placed on administrative leave.
Since the shooting, Green has had trouble making ends meet and providing for his kids, according to a GoFundMe page. The family is hoping to raise 10,000 to help the veteran cop with his bills and other expenses. The page has raised over $4,000 so far.
“Your donation is needed to help Officer Green support his family and fulfill the promises he made to his children to properly educate them and allow them to continue to participate in school activities and sports,” the campaign reads.
As for the ESOP fundraiser, that’s set to take place Sept. 23 at Montrey’s Cigar Lounge in Ferguson, the press release stated, and will feature “cigar specials, 50/50 raffle, auction and live painting by artist Micah Shelton.” All proceeds will go toward helping Green and his family get back on their feet.