Two young, black men shot and killed by police just miles and days apart.
Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri got most of the attention.
Kajieme Powell’s death in St. Louis got little.
Powell’s death was recorded on a cellphone.
St. Louis City police say they were responding to 9-1-1 calls about an angry, possibly mentally disturbed person who was wielding a steak knife on the street and had just stolen items from a convenience store.
Police say when they got there they had no other choice but to shoot Powell to death to prevent him from injuring or killing them.
One of the 9-1-1 calls was from a St. Louis alderwoman.
In an exclusive interview with me last night on CNN, Powell’s family says he was neither mentally disturbed nor wielding a knife and that officers didn’t have to shoot to kill him.
Unlike the Ferguson shooting, police came out immediately and held a press conference to explain what happened.
But since then the Powell family attorney claims police have stopped communicating with him.
Jermaine Wooten says he and the family saw no knife in the video and that so far they have seen no evidence from police that Kajieme was armed with a knife.
Was Powell unarmed?
The recording isn’t close or clear enough to show.
Did the situation warrant the amount of force or gun power used to take Powell down?
That’s what investigators and possibly a jury will be deciding in this case; much the same as in the case of Michael Brown.
But one thing is for sure, two tragedies in America’s heartland are reverberating out and across the country and are no doubt forcing every police department to examine and re-examine their policies.
As we all know, self-examination is a good thing; as long as you are honest in the process and are open to change.