On Tuesday August 19th, Kajieme Powell was shot and killed by two police officers in St. Louis. As reported by the Huffington post, the St. Louis police department stated that officers fired on Powell “when he came within a three or four feet of them holding a knife ‘in an overhand grip.”
But video since released of the incident muddies that account. Powell — visibly disturbed in the moments leading up to the shooting — does approach the officers while screaming ‘shoot me now.’ But the video also reveals that police began to fire at a distance that seems much greater than 3-4 feet and continued to shoot Powell even after he had fallen to the ground. The footage is too far away to determine whether Powell is in fact holding a knife.
The shooting took place only a few miles from where Michael Brown was killed and adds another layer of tragedy to an already frustrating situation. Sadly, Powell joins a list of black people killed by police officers that grows at a rate of at least two a week according to a conservative FBI estimate.
Watch the video of the shooting below. [WARNING: video includes graphic content.]