Police Killing Lost Amid Brown Protests

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – St. Louis police killed an alleged shoplifter 10 days after a Ferguson policeman killed Michael Brown, and the young black man’s mother sued the city this week.
     The police shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, 10 days after the Ferguson shooting, left no impression on the national conscience, as Michael Brown’s death did.
     When Karen Powell sued St. Louis and its Police Department on Tuesday, the nation again had its eyes on Ferguson, where anniversary protests had led to more gunfire, and the critical wounding of one of Brown’s friends.
     Kajieme Powell was shot to death by St. Louis police officers on Aug. 19, 2014. Powell’s mother sued the two John Doe officers, along with the police board, the police chief and the city.
     Kajieme Powell was suspected of stealing two drinks and a snack cake from a convenience store. He was pacing back and forth on a sidewalk when the officers approached him. His mother says the officers left their vehicle with weapons drawn and shot her son nine times, claiming they had seen a knife in his hand.
     Karen Powell claims that neither the officers nor bystanders were “in danger of death or bodily harm” and that the officers could have arrester her son without deadly force. She claims officers did not give Kajieme clear verbal commands.
     “Defendants Police Officer John Doe and Police Officer James Doe gave Mr. Powell instructions meanwhile there were a number of civilians yelling at the Police Officers and Mr. Powell, thereby making the police instructions even more perplex,” the complaint states.
     After the shooting, police claimed that Kajieme Powell had told them “shoot him” and that the officers opened fire when he got to within 4 feet of them, with his knife in an overhand grip.
     But cellphone footage released the day after the shooting appears to show that Kajieme Powell’s hands were at his sides when the officer opened fire.
     The St. Louis Police Department referred a request for comment to the St. Louis Counselor’s Office, who did not respond.
     Karen Powell seeks punitive damages for excessive force, negligence, assault, battery and failure to train, implement and supervise. She is represented by Jermaine Wooten with the Legal Solution Group.

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