Another man was gunned down this week in Missouri, this time by St. Louis cops. Kajieme Powell had stolen several items including canned drinks and a honey bun from a local market, and was talking to himself and others on the street. A bystander started filming him while talking on the phone and was shocked when cops rolled up and shot the obviously mentally ill man several times at close range.
WARNING: This video is disturbing and violent!
They say the man had a knife, but it's not clear in the video, and he was obviously outnumbered by cops. So why the overkill once again while the whole world is watching? It would seem this is just another day in the St. Louis area, and the only plan they have is "shoot to kill."
From New Republic:
If you watch the video, there’s no denying that the introduction of police was a catalyst that rapidly turned a sad and touchy situation into a violent tragedy.
. . . Powell had a knife—Police Chief Sam Dotson described it as a steak knife. But he was not wielding it in the way officers claimed (or in the way it may have felt to them in the moment). He was not two or three feet away, but perhaps eight or nine. He wasn’t charging hard or issuing threats. To the contrary, he was demanding to be shot.
But that doesn’t mean the police needed to oblige him. It's hard to watch the video and not conclude that there should’ve been some safe way to preserve his life.
When you watch the video, notice that one cop rolls him over and attempts to put cuffs on him AFTER death. It's creepy and wrong in every possible way.These cops have no respect for the dead, which they proved with Michael Brown as well, leaving him bleeding in the road for a very long time after that shooting, then loading him into a van instead of an ambulance. What is wrong with them?
And when you read the list of tweets, it's also weird that the Mayor of St. Louis is named "Slay." Sometimes I feel as if I'm having a symbolic NRA-induced nightmare.
I offered my personal condolences this afternoon to the grandmother of Kajieme Powell. #fgs— MayorSlay.com (@MayorSlay) August 20, 2014
"[The police] are trained to protect themselves and they have to make a judgement call." -@MayorSlay on the shooting of Kajieme Powell— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) August 21, 2014
Doesn’t appear Kajieme Powell was lunging at officers at all: http://t.co/oakZsulYM1— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) August 21, 2014
After they unloaded on #KajiemePowell they turned his lifeless body over and handcuffed him. This is not humanity.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 21, 2014
What galls me about these shootings, I meet and talk to people like Mike Brown or Kajieme Powell, armed with nothing but a manila folder— Patrick (@QuadCityPat) August 21, 2014
The store owner was so afraid of #KajiemePowell that he waited outside w/ him for the police. #Ferguson#MikeBrown @CNN@msnbc— GAME RELATED (@Big6domino) August 21, 2014