The Latest on Ferguson: Police Release Video of Kajieme Powell Shooting, Holder Visits

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 20 2014 9:15 PM

The Latest on Ferguson: Police Release Video of Kajieme Powell Shooting, Holder Visits

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Lennil Johnson demonstrates outside of the center where a grand jury began looking at the circumstances surrounding Michael Brown's death.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Slate will post running news updates about the situation in Ferguson below. For other Slate coverage of Ferguson, click here.

Update, 9:00 p.m.: St. Louis police released eyewitness video on Wednesday of the shooting of Kajieme Powell. The 25-year-old Powell was killed after a confrontation with police officers on Tuesday just a few miles from where unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson earlier this month. Two witnesses in the extremely graphic video said they saw the police handcuffing Powell after killing him. The St. Louis Police Department said that the two officers fired 12 shots at Powell after he ignored orders to put down a knife that they said appeared to be a steak knife.

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The department tweeted:

In a meeting with 50 community leaders, meanwhile, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder explained that he could understand why black civilians are distrustful of those sworn to serve and protect. “I understand that mistrust,” Holder said. “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man. … I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. … I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.” He also noted, “We are starting here a good dialogue. But the reality is the dialogue is not enough. We need concrete action to change things in this country.”

“History,” Holder said, “simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

Update, 11:50 a.m.: The QuikTrip convenience store and gas station that was destroyed the night after Michael Brown was killed was attacked because a rumor spread that its employees had called 911 to report Brown for a robbery, the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery reports. Brown was in fact suspected of robbing a different store—the Ferguson Market—nearby, and police have said that officer Darren Wilson was not aware of the robbery when he shot Brown. The Post report notes that the QuikTrip became a major meeting point for protestors, but has now been fenced off by crews conducting repairs.

Original post, 10:23 a.m.: The relatively peaceful atmosphere described in Ferguson Tuesday night appears to have held through to the morning, reports indicate. From NPR:

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, announced that 47 arrests had been made, and that three loaded handguns were confiscated.
"Tonight we saw a different dynamic," Johnson said, according to St. Louis Public Radio. "Protest crowds were a bit smaller and they were out earlier. We had to respond to fewer incidents than the night before. There were no Molotov cocktails tonight."

BuzzFeed's Jim Dalrymple II was on the scene and writes that a police strategy of gradually closing off public areas—doing so firmly but without the use of tear gas or smoke bombs—helped wind down protests without provoking violence:*

As the protesters marched through the evening and the night wore on, the police began preparing to move the protesters into smaller and smaller areas. The first major push, just after 11 p.m. CT, was to clear a parking lot. People weren’t happy as they retreated, but for the most part they didn’t resist.

One thing Dalrymple's report does not note is any insistence by police that protesters leave the streets completely and return to their homes, a demand that has been made on previous nights; at one point, he writes, police told protesters in a parking lot that they could stay as long as they wanted.

*Correction, Aug. 20, 2014: This post originally misspelled BuzzFeed reporter Jim Dalrymple II's last name.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

Emily Tamkin is an editorial intern at Slate and a M.Phil. candidate in Russian and East European studies at Oxford. Follow her on Twitter.  

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