Chilling video of the shooting death of an allegedly armed Black man, Kajieme Powell, by St. Louis Police has gone public, showing the officers firing a barrage of shots at the man and then handcuffing him.
According to Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Powell, 25, entered a convenience store Tuesday afternoon and walked out of the establishment with unpaid items. The store owner said that Powell then re-entered the store and took pastries from a shelf then left once more. The store owner confronted Powell, but later called police to the scene.
Witnesses nearby saw the incident unfold as police responded to the call. According to accounts from police, Powell was behaving strangely and muttering words to himself. Powell allegedly said to the police, “Shoot me now, kill me now,” while clutching at his waistband for a knife. Powell continued to ignore their commands and was shot a series of times after officers claimed he charged at them with a knife.
From the video, though, Powell doesn’t appear to brandish any weapon. In fact, when he falls to the ground, nothing is seen in his hands, although he did walk toward the officers who immediately pulled out their guns the moment they exited their vehicle. Moments after Powell can be heard indeed saying, “Shoot me then, shoot me then, motherf*cker,” the two officers fire a series of nine shots with three of those occurring as Powell hits the ground. The officers then proceeded to handcuff Powell much to the dismay of onlookers, including Alderman Antonio French.
Watch the shooting of Kajieme Powell here for yourself. Warning: The clip is graphic!
French spoke with local station KSDK regarding the anger around Powell’s shooting, stressing that it was in no way related to happenings in Ferguson to the north. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Chief Dotson were both addressed by French, who relayed to the alderman that an investigation will be swift and just.
The shooting took place just less than four miles away from Ferguson, where unrest regarding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael “Mike” Brown has been ongoing.
Reports earlier stated that Powell was 23 when details were scant. St. Louis authorities said on Tuesday at a news conference that they had the name of the victim.
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