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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis police chief has released audio, surveillance video and cellphone video of the fatal shooting of a knife-wielding man, acknowledging that tensions in nearby Ferguson have created a need for greater transparency on officer-involved shootings.
Police Chief Sam Dotson said Thursday that both officers involved remain on administrative duty pending an internal investigation. One is 25 with three years of police experience; the other, 31, has been on the force for about 2 1/2 years.
Kajieme Powell, 25, was shot Tuesday after moving toward officers with a knife while telling them, “Shoot me now. Kill me now.” Both officers fired six shots each, but it wasn’t yet known how many struck Powell. He died at the scene.
Dotson said he wanted to move quickly to make public as much information as possible.
“I think the lessons learned from Ferguson were so crystal clear,” Dotson said.
The cellphone video, taken by a bystander, shows officers with guns drawn as the man, knife at his side, walks toward them, shouting for them to kill him. Officers open fire and the man falls to the ground and rolls at the feet of one officer.
The shooting occurred a short drive from the street where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer on Aug. 9, speaking several days of unrest in Ferguson.
More than 100 people gathered after the shooting in St. Louis, some chanting "Hands up, don't shoot," which has become a common chant among protesters in Ferguson.
© The Canadian Press, 2014