- Posted August 21, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Black Lives Matter protests (2014)
The Other Police Shooting
Many people by now know that while Ferguson burned another shooting took place in Saint Louis which Ferguson is a subburb of.
When it was first reported it was of a man who was acting erratic and brandishing a knife shot by police. That was it. That was the only thing I heard. No mention of his stealing, no mention of his race or the race of the officers. So much like the Ferguson shooting I had very little to go on to make a judgment about whether or not the shooting was justified. Did he go at police? All I could think was if they shot him then he must have done something to cause it. At least he had a knife according to reports.
Compared to what I first heard about the Ferguson shooting - no weapon, hands up, walking away from police, no aggression - this at least seemed like a better reason to have to shoot someone.
But that just goes to show why investigations take place in the first place. We now know that the Ferguson suspect Michael Brown was not what was being portrayed by his friend and family. I do give them a pass however. The same pass I give to any parent who loses their child, adult or not. But in the two weeks since that shooting we learn that the six shots from police were to the front of Michael Brown, not the back. We learn that he had just finished strong armed robbing a convinience store. Those are two facts that begin to at least establish his friend a liar and Michael Brown not being the harmless boy ect ect.
There are also reports that the officer's eye socket had been crushed due to being pummelled by Michael Brown. I consider this part not fact yet since as far as I know there are no hospital records publicized yet. But if the accounting of the officer turns out to be true then I can definitely see why he felt the need to take down Michael Brown with his pistol, and yes, unloading six or more shots.
Back to the Kajieme Powell shooting. There is video evidence of what happened in this case. What the police officers initially reported is true. Kajieme Powell is acting erratic and is brandishing a knife. He even yells at police to "shoot me!" and "kill me!"
There are two officers on scene. There had been no phyiscal assaults at that point. Kajieme Powell is moving toward the officers when they shoot him several times and kill him.
Here is my problem with what I saw on the video:
Both officers exitted their vehicles with pistols drawn. With two officers present why could one of them not had a taser drawn? If it is proceedure to have two officers of the same vehicles both have their pistols drawn then I think the police need to review those proceedures. Yes, Kajieme Powell had a knife and yes he was aggressive and I am fine with the officers shooting him when he moves toward them.
My problem is with their preparation. One of them could have had a taser in hand so they could have tased him before he got anywhere near them. As a former soldier I see the lack of preparation, probably a lack of training for these situations, and a loss of control over the situation. It only took 14 seconds from the two officers exitting their vehicle and then shoot down Kajieme Powell.
As I said I do not blame them for shooting him at the point they did. I have a problem with the way the situation was handled from the time they exited their vehicle and both of them had their pistols drawn.
The aftermath was hard to watch. Clearly a black neighborhood and they were all scared of the police more than the man acting erratic brandishing a knife who at one point had told them all to "get the fu** away from me".
"Back up!" they were telling each other "before you get shot too!"
And the way police were cordoning off the scene and ordering people away. Everybody seemed to be a suspect to them.
I do not have all the answers but I think part of the problems are training and/or procedures by police, their preparation as the two officers exitted their vehicles which lead to the loss of control of the situation. Kajieme Powell was shot in 14 seconds. It would have been much better if he had been tased in seven. Hindsight is a 20/20 bitch though.
A thourough investigation should be done here to see if the officers were following procedures and if so how those procedures should be changed. I would not want them to be procecuted for doing what they are told to do, but I would want to see them prosecuted if they acted outside procedure.
As to the Michael Brown shooting the investigation needs to be completed before we all render judgment. Then we need to accept the detailed facts of the investigation and accept where they lead us to instead of deciding on the outcome we want.
I think in the end we are going to see the Kajieme Powell shooting as a better example of using too much police force than the Michael Brown shooting.
The man who shot the Kajieme Powell shooting video should be commended. I hope what he witnessed does not cause him to go out and join the senseless band of destruction.
To see the Kajieme Powell shooting on YouTube click this link: