KANSAS CITY, MO – An officer involved shooting that proved fatal for a suspect back in March is gaining newfound attention – and scrutiny. Recently released video of the incident is raising questions on whether or not the shooting was justified.
Missouri prosecutor 'evaluating discrepancies' in police account after receiving witness videos from Malcolm Johnson shooting https://t.co/DVkeJf3Kpo
— FOX2now (@FOX2now) June 3, 2021
According to reports, Kansas City Police officers attempted to arrest 31-year-old Malcolm Johnson inside of a BP gas station located at 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue on March 25th.
Police were reportedly attempting to arrest Johnson in connection with an alleged domestic violence shooting incident that occurred on March 15th.
Johnson had also previously spent time in prison for a 2014 shooting that happened in Raytown where he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action regarding the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Monteario Hogan.
The suspect who shot a KCPD officer in the leg and was killed by return fire was out on parole and was wanted for allegedly shooting up his ex-girlfriend's residence earlier this month, according to newly released documents: https://t.co/iBWyYUTkoX
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) March 26, 2021
During the March 25th attempted arrest of Johnson, police officials stated that officers tried to a place Johnson under arrest, but a scuffle ensued where Johnson later fired a weapon and shot a Kansas City Police officer in the leg.
Officials revealed at the time that the officer who was shot by the suspect returned fire, fatally striking Johnson.
But recently released videos of the arrest, while not exactly contradicting much of the information initially shared by officials, is raising questions on whether or not the shooting of Johnson was justifiable.
Video released does show a violent encounter between the suspect and police on March 25th, which several officers are seen struggling with Johnson on the ground.
Despite this, however, visibility of the critical moments during the encounter leaves much to be desired. This of course means that many in the community are giving the benefit of the doubt to the criminal rather than the officers involved.
For example, local community member Pastor Darron Edwards claims that the shooting of Johnson was an “execution” by police involved:
“There’s a way to treat people. There’s a way to handle people whether they’re criminal or innocent. The way they treated this man was an execution.”
A statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who is leading the investigation into the critical incident, noted that it is not their job to determine whether or not the shooting was justified, but to simply gather the facts and hand over the results of their investigation.
Sergeant Bill Lowe from the MSHP stated that such an investigation can be lengthy, but it is to the benefit of all parties that the incident be thoroughly reviewed:
“I would not want it to be a speedy process if I were the victim of any crime. You want it to be thorough, done with compassion, and done with integrity, so we are being as transparent as we can possibly be.”
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker released a statement after having reviewed the newly released videos, noting the following:
“We have received videos from witnesses and community members for our review. We are closely analyzing this information.
“A part of our review will be an evaluation of any discrepancies between the original accounting of this event and the actual evidence, including any video evidence. Our job requires us to gather as many facts as we can and to use those facts to determine if charges are appropriate under Missouri law. In order to do that, a full and neutral investigation is necessary. Our duty requires we hold all accountable, no matter their position or power.
“We are also evaluating our processes to determine how we might further engage with community to gain these necessary facts.”
The first video that was released to the public was from the perspective of the store surveillance camera, which shows far less of the confrontation between officers and Johnson.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.
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In Texas, officials recently released footage from an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Houston back in May that involved an armed suspect.
Here’s that previous report.
HOUSTON, TX – Houston police have released multiple body camera videos of a deadly officer-involved shooting that occurred on May 21 in the city.
HPD has released body camera footage of a recent deadly police shooting in southwest Houston.
It's the first time the city's new body camera release policy has been tested. https://t.co/GPb3bSOVsc
— Houston Public Media (@HoustonPubMedia) June 4, 2021
At about 1:30 a.m., an officer observed two vehicles speeding and heading south on Gessner Road. The officer followed the vehicles, getting behind a green pickup truck. Officers initiated at traffic stop with the truck along Bissonnet Street.
The officers made contacted with the man and woman inside the truck. The occupants stated that they were speeding to escape the scene of a shooting, where they said a vehicle was firing on another vehicle.
As the officers spoke with the occupants of the truck, a black male walked toward the position from a Shell gas station across the street. The male was later identified as 20-year-old Zaekwon Gullate.
Houston | Houston police release body worn camera video following deadly officer-involved shooting https://t.co/4ArMMiCKkx
— FilaFresh (@filafresh) June 4, 2021
One of the officers, Sgt. Ricardo Rivera walked toward Gullate asking if he needed anything and if he knew the occupants of the truck.
Video from Sgt. Rivera’s body camera show the man continue to walk toward him with his hands in his pockets. Gullate tells the officer, “Shoot me.”
The Sergeant drew his firearm and commanded that Gullate show his hands twice. The officer then asks what is in his hand. Gullate drew a firearm and Gullate ordered him, “Bro, put the gun down.”
Other officers on the scene then turn their attention to Gullate and also begin telling him to drop his gun.
Gullate pointed the gun at officers and fired at them. Rivera and three other officers returned fire striking Gullate.
After Gullate drops to the ground, Sgt. Rivera immediately asks if the occupants of the truck were alright, which they apparently were.
Officers began checking each other to determine if they were hit by Gullate’s shot while Sgt. Rivera maintained cover on the suspect. The sergeant also called for EMS over the radio.
Officers cautiously approached Gullate and secured the firearm. They then began providing medical aid until EMS arrived. Gullate was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The body camera video also included the view from other officers, identified as Officer McLemore, Officer Smajstrila, and Officer Alfaro.
Houston Police Release Body Camera Footage Of Officer Involved Shooting In May https://t.co/PT2mo4IDxl
— Not your mommas news and nonsense (@sumbodysaidthat) June 4, 2021
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the videos were released within 30 days of the shooting following recommendations from a city task force tasked with making reforms following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
During a news conference held to announce the release of the video, Chief Finner said:
“When there is an officer-involved shooting it’s so tragic for everybody involved, regardless of what happened, so look at it objectively and make sure we have healing in our community and make sure people come to the truth and because different people carry different narratives, that causes problems, that’s what frustrates me.”
“But every person has the right to think what they want to, but we’re going to do the right thing in Houston upon the mayor’s leadership, releasing this and we’ve been saying this and today, it’s here.”
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