Did They Have To Shoot Him? New Video Surfaces of 2nd Controversial Missouri Police Shooting
A just-released video is raising troubling questions about yet another police shooting, this one just four miles from embattled Ferguson, Missouri.
The video, shot by a bystander, began with a suspected shoplifter pacing on the sidewalk. The man was accused of stealing drinks and a donut from a convenience store. Surveillance footage shot earlier showed him inside the store.
In a 911 call, the convenience store owner said, "He's still outside. He refused to give the stuff back."
Another merchant on the street in St. Louis also called 911 about the suspect, saying, "He just seems very upset. I had to lock my door. I don't want the guy to come in here. He's got a knife in his hand."
The suspect has his hand in his pocket some of the time in the video.
Within moments, a police car pulled up. Two cops got out with guns drawn and screamed, "Drop the knife! Do it now!"
But the suspect, identified as Kajieme Powell, moved toward the officers in what some would call a menacing manner.
The entire confrontation with cops took just 17 seconds.
At a press conference on Tuesday, St. Louis police said the suspect approached the two cops, "He then pulled out a knife and what we described as an overhand grip. He then told the officer, 'Shoot me now. Shoot me now.' "
Does the video contradict that? That's what The Huffington Post claims, saying the "footage undermines the statement."
It certainly seems as if Powell confronted the officers with his hands at his sides.
After the new video surfaced, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson defended his men on CNN, saying, "A knife within 21-feet is a lethal weapon. The officers did what I think you or I would do, they protected their life in that situation."
Police also point out they are the ones who released the video in an effort at transparency, a hard lesson learned from the Ferguson fiasco.
Some are now asking whether the officers should have disabled Powell with non-lethal force rather than shooting him dead.
Security expert Steve Kardian told INSIDE EDITION, "We have in this country what we refer to as 'The Hollywood Effect.' People believe what they see in the movies, television shows, that the gun shoots the knife out of the hand. It doesn't happen that way. We are not going to jeopardize our lives."
Meanwhile, four miles away in Ferguson, Missouri, calm was finally restored to the streets after more than a week of rioting over the police shooting of Michael Brown.
State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who has been credited with helping restore order in Ferguson, faced false and even silly accusations on the internet that he gave a gang sign as he posed for photos with residents.Turns out, it was a sign for Johnson’s college fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. Yet another symptom of how charged the Ferguson shooting has become.