Today the St. Louis, Mo. police department—located just four miles away from Ferguson—released the 911 phone calls and video from yesterday's police shooting that left 25-year-old Kajieme Powell dead on the sidewalk.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department cited a desire to act with "complete transparency," and referred to the videos as exculpatory, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters yesterday that the officers were dispatched Tuesday after Powell allegedly stole energy drinks and a donut from a local convenience store, prompting several witnesses to call 911. Those calls were released along with the cell phone video.
Dotson gave a timeline of events to reporters yesterday. According to KWBU:
The two officers in one car responded to these calls and approached the suspect. They exited their vehicles. Chief Dotson says that at that point they did not have their weapons drawn and were trying to speak with the individual when he grabbed at his waistband and then pulled out a knife in what Dotson described as an overhand grip.
He began telling the officers, shoot me now. Kill me now. And the officers then began giving him verbal warnings. When they saw the knife they had drawn their weapons he said they began telling the man get back, drop the weapon, stop. The man did not comply, and when he came within three to four feet of one of the officers, Dotson says, it was at that point that both officers fired, killing the suspect.
Although Powell's weapon isn't clearly visible during the confrontation with police, the officers can be heard telling him to drop the knife. The video is shot at a distance, and it's not clear how close Powell actually was to the officers, who fired around ten shots.
The video, which continues on after the shooting, also shows the officers flipping Powell's lifeless body over and handcuffing him, as the horrified witnesses look on.