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This is a second man black man to be shot by the police following the killing of Michael Brown in the neighbouring Ferguson area, which resulted in widespread protests.
The police have released a statement, following the shooting, that raises more questions than it answers.
In their statement, the police contradict the video taken by an eye witness.
The statement read: “when [the police officers] initially got out of the car, they did not have their weapons drawn. When the suspect displayed his knife, they drew their weapons.”
But in the video, the two policemen came out of the car with their weapons already drawn and aimed at Powell.
The police then fired a total of nine shots, four after which he fell on the ground and continued to fire more shots after Powell fell on the ground.
It is believed that the police were initially called onto the scene by a store owner after Powell allegedly stole soft drinks and snacks from the store.
According to New York Magazine, neighbours have described Powell, who’s heard on the video yelling “shoot me now” multiple times, as mentally ill.