Body cam footage shows pregnant Black woman was shot after pointing gun at officers: prosecutor
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A Black pregnant woman was shot five times by Kansas City police despite having her hands up, according to a witness. But prosecutors allege that the woman, Leonna M. Hale, pointed a firearm at police officers before being shot.

KCTV first reported that Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Friday. Highway Patrol said that officers in the Kansas City Police Department spotted a vehicle at a Family Dollar that was suspected of being stolen after an armed carjacking.

A witness named Shédanja later told The Kansas City Star that she had seen the shooting and recorded a video of the aftermath.

The Star reported:

The woman exited the car with her hands up, Shédanja said. Officers told the woman to get on the ground, but the woman told them she was pregnant, Shédanja said, and couldn’t get down on the ground. Police asked her to get down multiple times. The woman then told police there was a gun in the vehicle. The woman started backing toward a fence in the parking lot. Several officers approached her and had their weapons drawn, Shédanja said.

“She did not pull out a weapon on them,” Shédanja recalled. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”

The witness can also be heard narrating in a video she recorded at the scene.

"They got her in handcuff while they shot her, y'all," Shédanja says in the video. "I stopped here to get some gas, y'all, and my son just watched this [shooting]. My one-year-old son just watched this! My 10-year-old son just watched this! And my 13-year-old son just watched this happen!"

"She was fixing to cooperate," she added. "She ran and they shot her. One, two, three, four!"

A spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that a gun was located at the scene.

A image from police body camera footage showed Hale holding a firearm. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she pointed the weapon at the officers before being shot.

Hale has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, and a misdemeanor of resisting a lawful detention.

"Some false narratives about what happened last Friday night at 6th and Prospect Avenue, unfortunately, were relied upon by some media and other sources. Our job, as prosecutors, is to remain neutral and review all evidence. Our review of body cam videos provided the actual accounting of events that night," Baker said in a statement.

"Our review of the investigation revealed the defendant, although she denied having a weapon at the time of the encounter with law enforcement officers, continually displayed a weapon during her encounter with police officers and also appeared to be attempting to flee. The two officers stated that she was armed with what they believed to be a handgun. Body camera footage confirms the officers’ statements that Hale was holding a handgun. Still photos, taken from body cam footage, of this encounter also demonstrate a weapon was present and in the hands of the defendant."

Watch the video clips below.

(Note: This story has been updated.)