Last summer, a White man made accusations to police claiming two Black men tried to rob him at gunpoint. As it turns out, the story was completely false.
In fact, if the authorities had watched the surveillance footage six months ago, they would have seen that it was the White man who tried to rob the two Black men.
Last August, 29-year-old Patrick John Owens told police that Christopher and Jerry Tate, 25 and 23, confronted him and attempted to rob him in St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the brothers “kicked” and “punched” Owens, who claimed he opened fire in self-defense. The bullet struck Christopher Tate, traveling through his hand and then his jaw. Later, officers saw one of the Tate brothers tucking the gun inside a flower pot.
Jerry Tate said he and his brother tried to explain the situation to the officers, but “they didn’t listen to us at all,” he recounted to the Post-Dispatch.
Christopher Tate received treatment at a local hospital. Both Jerry Tate and Owens were taken into custody. Police released Jerry Tate without charges while they investigated, and Owens was released pending charges.
This week, the truth was finally brought to light. Owens now faces charges of attempted robbery, armed criminal action, second-degree assault and making a false report. Of the four charges, three of them are felonies.
The story, according to court documents, is as follows…
Around 3:15 am, the brothers were getting out of a pickup truck when Owens approached them. After asking for a ride, Owens drew his weapon and demanded them to, “Give me your wallet!”
A struggle occurred and Owens shot his gun, hitting Christopher Tate. The Tates eventually got a hold of Owens’ gun.
“The Tates said Wednesday that they hid the weapon as they ran in search of help because they feared that in the commotion the gun could make them a target,” the Post-Dispatch reported.
“I was on top of him when he shot me,” Christopher Tate told the Post-Dispatch. “When he fired the gun the bullet hit the bone in my hand. It went through my right jaw. If I had not put my hand out it probably would have blown my entire face off.”
According to the brothers, it is because of the persistence of their mother that the video footage was viewed.
“My mother kept telling them that there was video all through that area,” Jerry Tate said.
Though the Tate brothers are glad that justice will (finally) be served, they are disappointed the video evidence had remained untouched for six months before it was finally reviewed.
“I believe [the police] listened to [Owens] because he was white,” Christopher Tate told the Post-Dispatch.
Christopher Tate also said that before his name was cleared his boss did not believe his story.
“He asked me, ‘Why did the paper say you robbed someone and that’s how you got shot?’” he recalled. “He said ‘If it wasn’t true the paper wouldn’t have said it.’”