Overcast with a bit of ground fog this early Thursday morning on California’s north coast and the air is still and quiet — nice but rare nowadays.
The horror in Missouri spills blood everywhere. One starts to wonder if the real lawless fright is coming from cops instead of gangsters and crackheads — unless you’re white, of course.
If you’re a person of the non-white persuasion, however, you’d better just watch your ass.
And the trouble isn’t necessarily the dread/shock of Ferguson, MO, it’s the friggin’ police: According to the FBI’s most recent accounts of “justifiable homicide,” in the seven years between 2005 and 2012, a white officer used deadly force against a black person almost two times every week…Of those black persons killed, nearly one in every five were under 21 years of age. For comparison, only 8.7 percent of white people killed by police officers were younger than 21.
(Illustration found here).
On Tuesday, about three miles from Ferguson, St. Louis police shot and killed 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, who was supposedly carrying a knife, but no firearm. A guy captured the whole incident on his cell phone — pretty brutal with some graphic dialogue about the human condition.
You can see the video at Mediaite, and various other places. (I can’t still can’t figure out how to post video on my own blog — too dumb, or stupid, I can’t figure that out, either). And it’s a tutorial on life on a street. And really, really heartbreaking.
Apparently, Powell has some mental problems as the narrator of the clip points out with a steady stream on what the guy is doing — the cops arrive, and boom, boom, boom — 12 times.
And even more weird, the cops handcuff Powell while sprawled on the ground — the narrator exclaims: “Now, they cuffin’ him. He’s already dead.”
Terrible. Greg Mitchell at his blog, Pressing Issues, adds this on the video:
Now a cell phone video has been posted on You Tube.
A little distant but see what you think — as witness keeps saying “they could have tased that man.”
Note that Powell appears to be slowly walking toward officers — with arms asides — and far from rushing them or lunging at them.
He is also much further from them than Dotson has claimed — at least 8 feet from one and 13 feet from the other (who is also partly behind car) when shot — although he then tumble closer.
Dotson yesterday said he was only two or three feet from the officers when shot, which “is a lethal range for a knife,” said.
He also called it “life and death” situation and claimed victim was “three to four feet” away.
Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association calls the video “exculpatory.”
Too far to see knife in hand but you see him take hand out of pocket, possibly with knife in it, as he approaches cops.
Must be fairly small knife to fit fully in pocket of hoodie.
Police Chief Dotson yesterday said he had been holding it with overhand grip, which would suggest a scary lunging action.
Today he corrected to say actually it was underhand, perhaps at side, a quite different image.
Passersby (and the man in red cap who I think is the store manager he had just shoplifted from) had been laughing at him in the seconds before so one wonders how big his knife might have been.
Final touch: Cops shoot him five or six times while on ground, then handcuff him.
And the ‘Dotson’ is St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, who defended the shooting, but in a seemingly back-tracking sort of way.
Too bad screaming won’t help any of this shit.