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Mya Aaten-White, Ferguson Shooting Victim, Says Police Have Not Interviewed Her

Categories: Michael Brown

mya_aaten_white_ambulance.jpg
Courtesy of Mya Aaten-White
A selfie Mya Aaten-White took in the ambulance on August 12, 2014.

Here's what Mya Aaten-White remembers from the night of August 12: It was about 11 p.m. She was walking back to her car on Highmont Drive near the burned-out QuikTrip after attending a Mike Brown rally in Ferguson. There were a few people in front of her. Suddenly, shots rang out. Everyone dropped to the ground and covered their heads. When she sat up, Aaten-White knew something was wrong.

"Oh my God, you're shot in the head," she recalls a young man telling her.

Several young men carried her into a nearby house where the residents called 911. She says police officers -- she believes they were St. Louis County police -- interviewed her briefly before she was taken to the hospital. She was able to take the above photo in the ambulance and upload it to Instagram. It went viral.

Now, a little over a week later, Aaten-White wants to know why no one in law enforcement has followed up with her about her case. Stranger still, she says, she doesn't know what happened to the bullet that doctors removed from her skull.

"Someone has the bullet. Someone has the bullet, and it was an officer," says her attorney, Marwan Porter.

Read all of our coverage about Michael Brown and Ferguson here.

A video that seems to show police reacting to Aaten-White's shooting:

Aaten-White is a St. Louis native who lives in Florissant. She says she's the great-granddaughter of local jazz legend Mae Wheeler and works at a law firm. She says she went out that Tuesday night in support of Michael Brown's family.

The bullet lodged against her skull, near the middle of her forehead. Aaten-White says it took doctors about a day to decide that it was safe to remove it. She says when she woke up from the surgery on Wednesday evening, August 13, the doctors and nurses told her police officers came and confiscated the bullet as evidence. As she recovered, she says, she waited for those officers to return and do a full interview about the incident.

"I would ask every day while I was there," she says, "'Did anyone from the police department come? Have they called for me? Are they going to be here today?' And nobody could give me an answer."

Media reports have characterized Aaten-White's shooting as a "drive-by." From Post-Dispatch reporting:

It appeared to be a drive-by shooting. Police said they were looking for four or five men. The woman was shot once and is expected to survive. It was unknown if the shooting was related to the protests in the area.

Aaten-White says she didn't see a car or a weapon, and the only "four or five" young black men she observed were the ones who brought her to safety.

"Those words never came out of my mouth. I didn't know what people were talking about. I never said it was a drive-by," she says. "Those young men carried me and saved my life."

Aaten-White is home now, recuperating, though she did appear at a church rally with Michael Brown's family. She also retained Marwan Porter, a Florida-based attorney who specializes in cases involving police misconduct and personal injury. He's in town now, and Daily RFT spoke with him yesterday as he drove to the Ferguson Police Department to try to obtain Aaten-White's case files.

"We want to find out who and what agency took possession of the bullet," he said. "We want to identify who was responsible for firing the weapon that ended up with a bullet being lodged in the front of Mya's head."

When we spoke with him several hours later, the story just got weirder.

"I've talked to both the St. Louis County Police Department and Ferguson...they have no record...no file number, no report," he said. "They don't have anything."

Daily RFT contacted Ferguson Police Department press officer Tim Zoll who referred us to the city's new media representative, Common Ground PR. The number went straight to voicemail both times we tried. Next we tried the St. Louis County Police Department. Press officer Brian Schellman emailed back that he believes this is a Ferguson Police Department case, but our request is being forwarded to their keeper of records for verification. He warned they are inundated with requests and answering may take time.

"It almost seems like, if, you know, if I did not follow up with this, they were hoping it would disappear," says Porter. "I don't know what the reasons are."

Porter did not yet want to give Daily RFT the name of the hospital where Aaten-White was treated, but he says he's going back there to request records to see who was admitted to retrieve the bullet.

Meanwhile, Aaten-White says she has no interest in either Ferguson or St. Louis County handling her case from now on. Porter says he'd like to see federal investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice take over.

"I want the situation to be investigated fully, and I want to find out who shot me," says Aaten-White.

Obviously this is (yet another) developing situation, and we'll update as we learn more.

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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257 comments
lilharoldhodge
lilharoldhodge

The Police shot Ms. White. Moreover, the Police came to the hospital and took the bullet as a cover-up so it could not be traced to their gun(s). I want to know why her case is not getting worldwide attention? President Obama need to come home and deal with these racist police in his nation. If the police can shot, beat, and kill African Americans in the US and get away with it with a obvious lie or cover-up. Then we must ask ourselves is slavery in America or is it on it's way back? I believe slavery is here, moreover I believe the apartheid exist in the United States.

joclue
joclue topcommenter

Michael Brown`s case has been blown way out of proportion. Enough is enough. He is guilty. His parents, especially his mother need to spend time in jail for causing all this unnecessary commotion, plus a $100.000 fine, and another $10..000 fine to Officer Wilson and his family. Officer Wilson is innocent. We did not need Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, Jessie Jackson, Obama,and other big wig trash coming into St. Louis and ruined  St Louis`s reputation. Ferguson is a very small community, low class trash live there, they do not want to work, they want everything given to them. Enough with protesting, they had their fun. Now it’s time to arrest each and every one of them and put them all in jail for two years or more and a $10,000 fine each. Michael Brown is a huge hoodlum, thug, and a total disgrace to the human race. He got what he deserved. Bassem, Masri is a total jerk. They all need to stop harassing our police officer`s, and let them do their job.

Saint Louis, Mo.

mpt_3
mpt_3

@mkauai of which were not reported. Police were ordered to stay back. My neighbors house was one of the houses lit up.

mpt_3
mpt_3

@mkauai that is not the one to which i was referring. The first and 2nd night Lord Savior Ron Johnson took over, there were a few and all..

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Thursday, September 04, 2014: Police Misconduct

Here is yet another case, where the police basically do just what in the hell that they want to do. As far as the police department is concerned that you have no rights when they pull you over, or they want to question you. These are the rules that they have played by for decades now. I believe that a complete overhaul of all Police Department across the country is very much needed. I have heard the argument that there are good police on the police force. If they are there they are a very silent minority. Anytime anything happens that concerns the police it appears to me that they all present a unified front. I never see any dissenting voices in the crowd of police officers.

deebarc1
deebarc1

@bryonnbain Some1 had to sign for that bullet. Some1 had to give permission 4 that bullet to be released. This is crazy!!!! F.B.I. checking?

LLaws2
LLaws2

@RiverfrontTimes This is JUST WRONG to do this woman. PD confiscated evidence..Cover up another almost killed victim of abuses in Ferguson.

nayasala
nayasala

@heysyd So how has putting State police and FBI improved the process?

Re_Newsit
Re_Newsit

@occbaystreet her own attorney was quoted as saying they don't blame police. Does she have a hospital report that states a bullet removed?

realnealwells
realnealwells

@pmocek This morning I overheard the kids saying that CNN has been interviewing them and then serving as a conduit directly to

LOLOLOL
LOLOLOL

I'm really enjoying trolling these racist, mouth-breathing, neck beards. LOL.  I'd just like to thank all you morons for my first troll.

newscat44
newscat44

@NorthCounty3303 Agree. What I find troubling: "doctors and nurses told her police officers came and confiscated the bullet as evidence."

mkauai
mkauai

@mpt_3 I was there when Johnson took over. No gunfire that I saw/heard/heard about. Did you witness any

TyrannousLex
TyrannousLex

@bmaz: Driveby bullet would be paraded as evidence LE reaction was warranted.

bwjonez
bwjonez

@bmaz @GrannyBitcoins ;Wow they tried assassinating protesters during March4#Mike Brown shot a young lady N the head now cover-up#Ferguson

occbaystreet
occbaystreet

@Re_Newsit I see you are reading partial truths. Same lawyer confirmed bullet removed, taken by police, they are stonewalling.

mpt_3
mpt_3

@mkauai and have to delete these tweets for safety reasoning

mpt_3
mpt_3

@mkauai i have witnesses a ton. One for being a resident right in the area, and two for other reasons i cannot really speak about

Re_Newsit
Re_Newsit

@occbaystreet you will forgive me if I don't trust lawyers. If true, she will produce tangible backup. She can allow a hosp rep 2 speak.

newscat44
newscat44

@NorthCounty3303 I don't know. But doctors/nurses who were there do know if bullet was taken, and police depts. know whether they have it.

occbaystreet
occbaystreet

@Re_Newsit you quoted the lawyer first, bro. Can't just pick and choose. I've followed case from night of. Cops keep lying/stonewalling.

occbaystreet
occbaystreet

@Re_Newsit cops admit they took the bullet and haven't interviewed her. If you can't do a little research for that, I ain't helping you.

occbaystreet
occbaystreet

@Re_Newsit bonus research for you. But keep swallowing police and right wing media bullshit and cover up as you see fit.

Re_Newsit
Re_Newsit

@occbaystreet No, it's just when you choose to reduce anything I say to "right wing bullshit", we're done. Have a good weekend.

occbaystreet
occbaystreet

@Re_Newsit it is, but actually said that's what you were swallowing. Convenient that you, w similar rhetoric, slip out when facts against u.

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

@occbaystreet @Re_Newsit 

Thursday, September 04, 2014: OCC Bay Street

I can see from your rhetoric, that you are an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and all those wonderful people at the Fox news network.

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