Yesterday, a cell phone video was released that shows 25-year-old Kajieme Powell being gunned down by St. Louis cops. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson made a statement that both of the officers opened fire on Powell when he came within a three or four feet of them holding a knife “in an overhand grip.”
This video was released after Dotson made the official statement. In the video, it appears that Powell was not within 10 feet of the officers, let alone three or four feet. The video also seems to refute the statement made by Dotson that Powell had a knife in an overhand grip, while within a few feet of the officers.
In the video Powell has his hands at his sides, and it is hard to tell what, if anything, is in them. It also shows the officers continue to fire multiple shots after Powell has fallen to the ground. Witnesses say that Powell was shouting at the officers the he wanted them to shoot him. USA Today reported that some witnesses believe that Powell was trying to commit “suicide by cop.”
The main argument being made by commentators is, “Why did they not use a taser or other non-lethal force?” According to the St. Louis Police, tasers are not “100% effective,” especially when someone is wearing a sweater…
Regardless of the circumstances, a young man was killed. Shot 12 times. Very sad, very tragic.
Was the shooting justified? Watch the video and determine that for yourself.