The shooting death of 25-year-old St. Louis man Kajieme Powell by police couldn’t have come at worse time. The nation is currently focused on the heated protests occurring in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson over the shooting death of unarmed black teen Mike Brown by officer Darren Wilson.
Powell was also the victim of a police shooting after he walked towards two police officers carrying a knife. Police were called on Powell after he stole two energy drinks and pastries from a nearby carryout store.
Police stated Powell was “behaving erratically” in their police report. He yelled, “Shoot me” before he was fatally shot.
The two officers who arrived on scene fired nine bullets into Powell.
Onlookers took issue with police for placing Powell in handcuffs as he lay dead on the ground.
The St. Louis Police Department has been under scrutiny for the deadly shooting with many questioning why a taser wasn’t used to subdue Powell.
Police Chief Sam Dotson backed the officers’ decision to use lethal force.
“Certainly a Taser is an option that’s available to the officers, but Tasers aren’t 100 percent,” Dotson said, according to the Huffington Post. “So you’ve got an individual with a knife who’s moving towards you, not listening to any verbal commands, continues, says, ‘shoot me now, kill me now.’ Tasers aren’t 100 percent. if that Taser misses, that [individual] continues on and hurts an officer.”
“In a lethal situation, they used lethal force,” he added.
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