The Rude Pundit ain't gonna pretend to be a cop. He ain't gonna pretend to know what it's like to constantly have to see the worst of humanity behaving in the worst ways possible. And he sure as shit ain't gonna pretend to know what it'd be like to be a cop in any place close to Ferguson, Missouri, these days.
But the video of the police shooting of Kajieme Powell in St. Louis? Well, that's some fucked up shit right there. Watch the whole 6 minute thing if you've got six minutes to take from watching every manner of celebrity and politician and friend waste tubs of water and ice in order for charity.
You'll hear the guy with the cell phone giggling as he follows Powell, who was apparently acting erratically and had just shoplifted a couple of energy drinks. You'll see the cops pull up in the distance and jump out of their car with their guns pointed at Powell, who shouts, "Shoot me" while waving what close-up of the video shows is a fairly small steak knife. And while initial reports said that the police said that Powell was 2-3 feet away from the cops, you can see here, in the very second the cops started shooting, it's a bit more than that:
Another thing that shocks the man filming is the speed with which the cops didn't just shoot Powell dead, but shot him nine times. Within seconds of pulling up and getting out, Powell is down, falling forward, off the ledge, landing 2-3 feet from the police officers. So there.
The police will tell you that there was no guarantee that a taser would have worked. They will tell you that they are allowed, if someone is threatening with 20 feet, to shoot to kill. They will tell you that shooting to kill is the only way to assure the officers are safe.
But here's the problem you ought to have with this: Isn't it the job of the police to make sure the public is safe? Until the cops arrived, Powell was a weirdo who stole some shit. But he hadn't threatened anyone. And, as the video clearly shows, Powell was near no one when the police car pulled up. The officers didn't try to talk to him. They didn't back away and give him some space to calm down. Powell even moved from being right near the police to up on the lawn, a bit further away.
Put aside your heroic thoughts that you might have tased Powell or shot him in the leg. Are police in the United States or, at the very least, St. Louis, trained to merely execute someone than to perform the more complicated task of trying to talk them down? Was the first cop just too fucking nervous from everything he had seen in Ferguson so he thought that this was it, that it was go time for the race war? Did they take into account that there were people around who might have gotten caught by a bullet that missed or went through Powell? The cops put handcuffs on Powell after he was on the ground, presumably dead. Was that to make the shooting seem more legit?
And look at what happens after the shooting. The shocked camera guy immediately falls into obeying every cop who shows up (although he bravely does not stop filming). They push people back further and further, to where cell phones cannot film what is happening to the body, making sure what happens next is out of view, from what we've seen so far. How much room do they need to investigate or is it just to ensure the safest cover-up?
Something stinks here. The only question is how far into the trash we'll have to plunge to find its source.
(Correction: An early report said there were a dozen shots. That's been corrected to nine, which is still ludicrous bullshit.)