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St. Louis cops release incriminating video of fatal police shooting, think they look good

By Katie Halper
Thursday, August 21, 2014 3:10 EDT
 
Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 2.19.20 PM

I have to applaud the police of St Louis. They are pretty powerful. Somehow, they managed to take  a video which captures a fatal, unjustified and unnecessary police shooting, and turn it into a video which, they claim, is “exculpatory” and proves that they were in the right.

In order to understand how they were able to transform the footage to suit their needs, let’s review what everyone agrees happened.

On Tuesday, in St Louis, fewer than four miles away from where the unarmed teenager Michael Brown was killed by police, a convenience store owner called 911 to report that a man later identified as Kajieme Powell had stolen pastries energy drinks. Another woman called the police and said that Powell had a knife in his pocket and was behaving erratically. Two white officers arrived in an SUV. 23 seconds later, Powell, who was black, was dead on the ground, having been shot by the two officers.

On Wednesday, The St. Louis Police Department released footage recorded on a cell phone by a bystander. According to a police union representative, the footage released was “exculpatory.” In other words, the police decided to release the footage, along with the 911 calls, to show they had nothing to hide.

But let’s compare the footage of what happened and what the police claimed happened.

Police Claim: the police officers started shooting when Powell was within three or four feet of them.

Footage shows: Police started shooting before Powell was that close.

via youtube. This is how far away from the cops Powell was when the cops shot him.

via youtube. This is how far away from the cops Powell was when the cops shot him.

Police Claim: Powell was holding the knife ”in an overhand grip.”

Footage shows: Powell’s hands were by his sides.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 2.10.03 PM

Police Claim: It was justifiable and self defense. when Police Chief Sam Dotsons was asked whey the police had not used a taser on Powell, he responded, “The way that tasers operate; there are two probes that are fired.  Both probes have to make contact with the individual and their skin in order for them to work…. This individual had a jacket on.  I’m not saying tasers are not an option, what I’m saying is tasers are not 100 percent.” He also said,   “These officers felt they were in a lethal situation, that their lives were in jeopardy and I think we have to remember that these officers have a right at the end of the day to go home…. They have a right to protect themselves.”

Footage shows: The shooting could have been avoided and the officers did not appear to be in immediate danger. Powell did not, in fact, have his knife up in the air. Nor was he that close. Nor was he running towards the police. He was walking at a normal pace. The police had time to fire a warning shot or to shoot him once. But what can justify shooting someone nine times? Especially after they are down on the ground?

Why would the police tout a video, which not only presents the shooting as unnecessary but directly disproves certain facts as they had presented them? In other words, even if you watch the video and say these guys made the right choice, they still lied about the position of the gun and the distance between Powell and the officers.

It would be one thing to argue about the justification but what about the veracity?

I can’t help but think that the police are so out of touch with the communities they “serve,” are so sure of themselves and of their impunity, that they either didn’t care or didn’t notice that they were outing themselves as dishonest or, at the very least mistaken. I can’t help but think that had the victim been white, the police wouldn’t have seen the video as such exculpating. But really, had he man been white, he probably wouldn’t have become a victim in the first place. He probably wouldn’t have been shot nine times. Just like Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Ezell Ford and John Crawford III would be alive today if they had been white instead of Black.

Tea Party spokesman who said Obama’s blackness kills people breaks into tears on TV

By Katie Halper
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 19:02 EDT

In this culture of hyper-masculinity, it’s refreshing to see a man who’s not afraid to show his emotions. So, let’s give a round of applause to Lloyd Marcus, the emotionally evolved Tea Party spokesman, and chair of the Conservative Campaign Committee, who broke into tears during an interview today with the right wing “news” outlet Newsmax. Now, those of us who are fans of Marcus, who describes himself as “not an African-American,” but rather “An Americaaaaaaan!” know that he’s very capable…

 

Israeli sperm banks see rise in demand for combat semen

By Katie Halper
Monday, August 18, 2014 12:33 EDT

Nice Jewish boys, you’re out of luck. Apparently, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza has ushered in not just death and destruction, but a rise in requests for sperm of men with combat experience. At all Israeli sperm banks, women or couples can choose sperm based on the donor’s height,…

 

Relationship tips for straight girls from lesbians

By Katie Halper
Friday, August 15, 2014 13:51 EDT

This week’s Morning Jew drops a major news bomb: Morning Jewess Katie Halper is… single again! Fellow Morning Jewess and yenta Heather Gold offers some words of wisdom about what to look for in a man and suggests that lesbians make great matchmakers. She offers some criteria for what to…

 

Are these images of Ferguson or the Middle East? Take the violent state crackdown quiz

By Katie Halper

After the initially ignored fatal police shooting of the unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, people of Ferguson, Missouri, took to social media and the streets to protest the status quo of police brutality. And the police responded to these mostly peaceful demonstrations against excessive force, with… excessive force, using military…

 

Why there will never be a right wing Robin Williams

By Katie Halper
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 16:12 EDT

David Weigel described the liberal politics of Robin Williams as “forgettable,” arguing that the comedian’s most politically informed routines were among his worst, not his best. Though it may be true that Williams’s most literal and directly political sets weren’t his best, his progressive, liberal point of view was part…

 

Fox doctor who called Michelle Obama Fat should read his own book, “Projection”

By Katie Halper
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 16:27 EDT

Keith Ablow, the failed TV host, endocrinologist psychiatrist,  infamous misdiagnostician, The New England Journal of Medicine  Good Housekeeping contributor , and Glenn Beck co-author made the following medical assessment unoriginal, contrived sexist comments about the First lady at the Annual Conference on Obesity on the trashy Fox News show Outnumbered on Tuesday: What is she eating?…

 

If only The Church cared as much about pedophiles as porn stars

By Katie Halper
Monday, August 11, 2014 17:19 EDT

A woman filmed herself exposing her breasts and touching herself in an Austrian parish, in June. She also was holding a bible and rosary, in case you were worried about her going to hell.  A church-going-porn-fan was trying to enjoy some secular online porn, when he recognized the interior of his…

 

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the tradition of putting a baby’s penis in a grownup’s mouth.

By Katie Halper
Saturday, August 9, 2014 8:00 EDT

Two more babies contracted Herpes from the rabbis who circumcised them in New York City. You see, some ultra-Orthodox moyels (people trained to perform a bris, the Jewish ritual of circumcision)  follow up the circumcision with another ritual, Metzitzah b’peh (MBP), sucking the blood from the baby’s penis. New York City has…

 

How to criticize Israel without sounding like a raging anti-Semite or helping Netanyahu

By Katie Halper
Thursday, August 7, 2014 7:00 EDT

Yesterday, I wrote about the important distinction  between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism*. People like to conflate the two of them, but the truth is, neither anti-Zionism nor,  certainly, being critical of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. But that doesn’t mean there are no anti-Semites out there among the anti-Zionists or…

 
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