*UPDATE: As has been widely reported by now, the St. Louis man who police shot on August 19th was Kajieme Powell. Video recorded by a witness at the time shows that the police version of events doesn’t match up with what happened in reality. It is not at all entirely clear whether Powell was actually carrying a knife at all. Regardless, what is entirely clear is that he was not wielding the supposed knife in an “overhanded” way as police previously said. From the moment they arrived on the scene the officers acted erratically, guns drawn and ready to shoot as they stepped onto the pavement. Within 15 seconds of their arrival, Powell’s body fell dead to the ground from a barrage of bullets. In an even further sign of disrespect, the two officers proceeded to handcuff their victim’s corpse as he lay lifelessly on the ground. The graphic and disturbing footage is below:
There are some reports that Powell was someone who was mentally ill, but Gregg Levine expresses a more unique possibility in an incredible opinion piece appearing on Al Jazeera titled “Shoplifting in St. Louis? What was Kajieme Powell thinking?“
Just a few short miles from where police officer Darren Wilson publicly executed 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, police officers have shot and killed yet another Black man dead in the street. As Color Lines reports,
“St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the man was wielding a knife and essentially begged for police to shoot and kill him.”
As of yet the name of the 23 year-old man has not been made public, nor has there been any evidence revealed to suggest the man was actually “wielding a knife” and “[begging] for police to [shoot] and kill him.” Also, according to what was reported on HLN in the clip below, police are saying the man “was acting agitated as they approached him” before “clutching his knife and was telling police officers to shoot him, shoot him now.” Police are almost always more than happy to oblige this request, whether it’s made or not.
Meanwhile a total of 78 people were arrested last night, 75 of them for “failure to disperse” as they were protesting. Yet there are no signs of an arrest for Mike Brown’s executioner, Darren Wilson, who shot Brown a total of six times and left his body lying cold in the street for almost five hours.
Correction: An earlier version of this post reported that another man was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, as opposed to near Ferguson. Though only a few miles from the spot Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, the spot police executed this second man is part of St. Louis geographically.
my heart is really broken reading a tragic news such as this one. I feel so much for the boy’s mother who said in anguish, “They killed my son because he was black.”
As the world keeps seeing ugly incidents like this, it reflects the situation of racial injustice and bias in the United States. It also put a label of hypocrisy to US campaign for justice and human rights around the world.
That’s the only tiny bit of solace that can come from these endless tragedies – that the face of the United States is being exposed to the world for what it truly is. Thanks for your input and keep up the great work man. Much love.
Some posts I hesitate to ‘like’. would prefer an appreciation button. But when I saw the title, all I could think was “Oh, no!”
Philip Zimbardo has a book called “the Lucifer Effect” which looked at abuse of prisoners by American Soldiers, and the power of badge, situation, and the right to abuse. I think the system, it’s inequalities, and the constant belief that some ‘bodies’ are not as important, is a huge part of this situation. It helps not to see racism as limited to the shootings, but to work constantly towards social rights (as you are doing) because this situation is a horrible example of how some people are seen as lesser beings. And yet resolving the problem of police violence will not mean racism has ended.
Very true. I think police violence garners so much of my attention because it is the most imminent or obvious effect along with mass incarceration. The other systemic policies that are keeping racism alive, while I am glad many are addressing these, cannot be rendered in full while police won’t even allow Black people to live in peace for one full day of their lives.
The police brutality or deaths are horrible, and i think they should occupy our attention. I think perhaps it’s interlinked with structural racism as a whole though…policy which denies opportunity and keeps people poor means coming under threat to a greater extent.
The link between race, gender, the myths which recreate threat, and the social stories which prevent opportunity combine to create the most tragic of circumstances, over and over again.
Oh yes, you are totally right that it is only one factor that is part of a much greater assault that is taking place in every single institution sector of American life. The inequalities are part of the structure and the design of inequality that are rooted in American thinking since the earliest days of its founding. Police brutality grabs our attention more I think because it is so visibly obvious as opposed to the more “invisible hand” that ensures people have trouble rising out of poverty.
I too wish that I was in Ferguson, I’d be throwing the gas canisters right back at those killers!
Sigh! Another day, another Black man dead!
Dang If I was a rich person I’d swing by and pick you up and we’d go to Ferguson with tear gas masks and some gloves so we can take turns picking up those burning cans and toss ’em right back at the pigs who launched them. I’d be like, “Here’s a taste of your own medicine!”
Hey guys. wsws.org
The buildup of a police state is real today. Workers internationally must unite against the root causes of social inequality and the inevitable repression of social opposition from Ferguson to Gaza. Visit the link for a clarifying analysis of this process.
Shit is out of control in Fergustan, Missouri. Shit is out of control just about everywhere in Gestapo America. Out here in the wilds of Arizonastan, Phoenix Gestapo shot and killed a woman for answering her apartment door carrying a hammer. So said the Gestapo. There was absolutely no evidence nor corroborating witnesses that could verify what the Gestapo maintains as what happened.
I think I’m about ready for a fight…
I wish I was in Ferguson right now if I had a plane, I would run up to one of those flaming teargas canisters and throw or kick it back when they fire it at the crowd, just like those brave young men have been doing in Ferguson. I salute those Freedom Fighters! unlike the police gestapo, who are only freedom fighters in the sense that they FIGHT FREEDOM.
Damn straight up. If I were there the urge to throw molotov’s would be overwhelming. Solidarity with the Brothers and Sisters being violently repressed in the Fergustan.
How about that National Guard being called in to protect the fucking police officers?!! That shit is unbelievable. With the hundreds of cops that have been deployed with enough armor and weapons to make Hamas rockets look like play toys, the idiot governor Nixon thinks POLICE need protection?! Fuck outta here.
Enough is enough people we need to unify against this terrorist. They call others terrorist and point the finger but don’t realize that three fingers are pointing back at them. My deepest condolences to the mother an father who have to fill the reality and live with it forever of there son being kill by police officer. I hope democracy plays it role for this family and the people.
Thank you! It’s insane how people will justify what the police are doing in Ferguson yet would be calling the police terrorists if this was happening in any other country.