Video released by the St. Louis Police of the August 19 shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, just miles away from the protests in Ferguson, raises questions about whether events transpired as police initially claimed.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson had told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Powell “pulled out a knife and came at the officers, gripping and holding it high,” yelling “Shoot me now, kill me now.” Police said he was shot when he was “two or three feet” away from the officers. The newly released video begins before police arrive on the scene. A bystander has followed Powell after he took energy drinks and muffins from a market without paying for them, and can be heard chuckling over Powell’s erratic behavior. Powell is seen slowly pacing around the scene of the eventual shooting before police arrive. When the officers enter and draw their guns, Powell ignores warnings to put down his knife, and advances on them. He then repeatedly yells, “Shoot me!”
But Powell does not appear to be holding a knife high, and he looks to be walking normally — and to be further than two or three feet from the officers — when they open fire, killing him.