Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by St. Louis police officers Tuesday (August 19). This incident took place a few miles away from where Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man, was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer August 9, according to Huffington Post.
Law enforcement authorities said Powell approached two police officers while acting "erratically," the New York Times reports. Officials say Powell was armed with a knife. Officers repeatedly asked Powell to "drop the knife" he had been brandishing, St. Louis Police Department Chief Sam Dotson said. Powell reportedly asked officers to shoot him as he brandished his weapon.
Yesterday (August 20), St. Louis police released a cell phone video capturing the incident from a distance. Dotson claims the video, which has been deemed "potentially offensive or graphic" by the YouTube community, confirms the police department's description of the shooting, according to the Times. However, the news outlet reports that it is "unclear whether the knife was raised when he was shot." The publication also says 12 gun shots were audible in the video.
In a separate article, The New York Times says that the video contradicts at least portions of Chief Dotson's initial account of the incident. Dotson initially said Powell was as close as three feet from the officers before they shot him. In the video, Powell "appeared to be farther away," the outlet says.
Rappers have responded to the Powell shooting on Twitter, including Ice T, who asked police brutality non-believers to watch a cellphone video of the Powell shooting.
Ice T, whose Rock group Body Count released a controversial song titled “Cop Killer” in 1992, is not alone in spreading news about Powell’s killing. Phonte also shared links about the shooting on his Twitter timeline.
Twitter posts from Rap figures regarding Kajieme Powell are below.
Brutality NONbelievers? WATCH> St. Louis police release video of the recent killing of Kajieme Powell. https://t.co/LRtfSaDCyH”
Man... RT @CraigSJ That Kajieme Powell video... I don't even know what to do.
— Open Mike Eagle (@Mike_Eagle) August 21, 2014
— Yung Joc /FLATMAN (@IAMYUNGJOC) August 21, 2014
With all the eyes in the region, things still don’t change. Wouldn’t have believed it if i didn’t see it. SMH http://t.co/JOTcdEzUUw
just retweeted vid of St. Louis police killing Kajieme Powell. they hopped out the truck ready to shoot not to de escalate situation
— Rapper Pooh (@RapperBigPooh) August 21, 2014
For more on rappers speaking about law enforcement, view the DX Daily below.