Footage of fatal police shooting of Kajieme Powell emerges

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While much of the St. Louis-area is up in arms over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, footage recovered of the fatal police shooting of Kajieme Powell on Tuesday may add fuel to the fire.

Video taken on the cellphone of a bystander shows St. Louis metropolitan police firing 12 shots at Powell, who was brandishing a knife and approaching the officers while yelling, “shoot me, shoot me, shoot me now,” shortly before he was gunned down.

One witness believed that the deadly force was excessive, suggesting police should have tried non-lethal means to subdue the 25-year-old who was “behaving erratically,” according to reports.

“I think it was excessive,” witness Doris Davis told the Guardian. “People said he had a knife but if he had a knife they could have shot him in the foot. Or Tasered him. They didn’t have to kill him.”

“I couldn’t believe my eyes, I have seen anything like that. I’ve never seen anyone get shot,” she added.

Police recovered the knife from the scene. Powell was believed to have robbed a nearby store, stealing energy drinks and doughnuts, before the incident.

Meanwhile, officials defended the use of force and believe that the video proves that it was appropriate given that Powell was armed. They also hope that it will help rebuild the trust between law enforcement and the community.

“I don’t think any of us can deny that the tension not only in St Louis but around the county and the world because of the activities in Ferguson over the last 10 or 12 days certainly has led to us making sure that we got this right and answered as many questions as we could as quickly as we can,” said St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson of the Powell shooting.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • VINNY February 12, 2016, 11:38 am

    First of all,There is a remarkable video of one skinny Mexican man killing FIVE ARMED POLICE OFFICERS with a knife.Secondly,there should have been more of an effort to communicate to this individual that he’d be in great peril if he were to persist with this behavior.

  • Herbert August 27, 2014, 2:16 pm

    The young Man , Asked TO BE shot , AND , that’s what he GOT ! ” End ” of Story !

  • Rifleman247 August 26, 2014, 3:03 am

    Completely justified. Unfortunately too many people don’t understand the reality of police shootings, and thus have an unrealistic expectation of the police in these situations. They should have Tased him? Taser has a range of 20 feet. Well within charging range of a knife wielding attacker. Next some moron will say the cops should have shot the knife out of his hand. Race had nothing to do with this. I bet most the people crying fowl would have fired too, had a man been approaching them and threatening to use a knife.

  • dink winkerson August 25, 2014, 3:03 pm

    The racial aspect of this from a media and political angle, social engineering.

  • Sam Tanner August 25, 2014, 9:53 am

    I just love all these people that come out of the crevices in the woodwork like cockroaches each time a black criminal is killed by the police. One witness said “Powell was on something”. That makes it more imperative to shoot to kill. A person on some kind of drug or narcotic can function through a great deal of pain, and still be able to seriously wound or kill the person they are fixated on. As to shooting the attacker in the foot, that is a joke. They have seen too many Hollywood hype movies where the actor in the script never misses. In the heat of an attack, most good shots miss more than they hit. Adrenaline, plus a moving target spell disaster for good shooting in a life and death situation. All these people that are second guessing the officers that shot Powell should have to get in a cage with a rabid dog that is attacking them, and then be limited to only shooting to wound.
    In fact, and I’m not prejudging him, where is all the racial hue and cry about the black officer that shot and killed an unarmed twenty year old white man in Utah. If they are so concerned about racial equality shouldn’t they be rioting, looting, and calling for that officer’s blood. This whole mess is a bunch of crap. The whole thing started with a nineteen year old criminal that decided for what ever reason to attack a cop, and when he got him self killed for his ILLEGAL actions, was treated like a hero by the media, and the racist regime in the Whitehouse. Then, instead of sorting out the facts, the officer was automatically guilty, and the clowns that live for, and off this kind of mess crawled out from under their rocks and decided to honor this fine upstanding young punk by stealing, burning businesses, and attacking officers that were no where near the location of the shooting when it happened. And now we are supposed to kiss their butts and treat them with kid gloves. There are ways to do things right, and there are ways to act like an uncivilized mob. Unfortunately they chose to act like the uncivilized mob. They deserve no respect.

    • Masio Lisup August 25, 2014, 1:53 pm

      Justifiable homicide. Suicide by cop. The end.

    • lpoliver August 25, 2014, 3:11 pm

      Sorry, when the both cops step out of their car with guns drawn it tells me they want to use them.
      This I call murder!
      Had they wanted to take him into custody, one of the the two cops could have had his taser out and ready.
      This would have allowed one of the cops to taser him FIRST, then, if that failed to put him down, the second cop could have used deadly force.
      I vote to indite the cops for second degree murder with the lesser charge of negligent homicide.
      BTW I am not a person of color and I normally support the cops, but the film is hard evidence and these cops give good cops a bad name.
      I also noted that two shots were fired when he was down.

      • jbhfalcon August 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

        The reason they exited the car with their guns drawn is because he had a knife (that he just used to rob a store). Did you listen to the audio? You can clearly hear one of the officers yelling “drop the knife, drop the knife.” If you approach the cops with a knife and get within 24 feet you can close the distance and stab them before they can clear leather (which is, again, why they exited the car with guns drawn). That will get you shot every time regardles of your race. There are some good videos on YouTube regarding the 24 foot testing that has been done. Police body armor does not stop knives, and so they can be stabbed to death like anyone else.

        As for Tasers, they are single shot devices with a failure rate of about 30% in my first-hand experience. They last thing you want to be doing when a drugged up, ticked off guy looking to stab you decides to charge you is be holding a NON-LETHAL weapon in your hands that fails a third of the time. That is why police are trained to meet lethal force with lethal force, and why there is a saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight.

        The bottom line here is that if the suspect had listened to the officers, dropped the knife and cooperated he would be alive right now. He clearly shares some blame here for creating the situation in the first place.

    • Stanley Harrison August 25, 2014, 7:16 pm

      Amen!

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