The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released footage captured from a cell phone Wednesday of police fatally shooting 25-year-old Kajieme Powell.
A convenience store owner called police on Tuesday when he suspected Powell stole drinks and donuts from his shop. Another woman called to report Powell was acting erratically and had a knife.
Two officers in a police SUV responded to the calls, the cell phone video shows. When the officers got out of their vehicle, Powell walked in their direction, yelling and telling them to shoot him already.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Tuesday that both of the officers opened fire on Powell when he came within a three or four feet of them holding a knife “in an overhand grip.”
But the newly released cell phone footage undermines the statement, showing Powell approaching the cops, but not coming as close as was reported, with his hands at his side. The officers began shooting within 15 seconds of their arrival, hitting Powell with a barrage of bullets.
Watch the disturbing video (WARNING: graphic):
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released the video, along with 911 calls, telling St. Louis Public Radio that it will act transparently.
The shooting death occurred just four miles from where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 9.
In a televised appearance Wednesday, Dotson defended the officers, acknowledging the discrepancies between his Tuesday account and what the video revealed. Powell’s hands were down by his sides, but Dotson told CNN he was moving toward the officer with a knife.
“The officers did what I think you or I would do, they protected their life in that situation,” Dotson said. Click here to listen to the 911 calls at St. Louis Public Radio.
Check back for updates.
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