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Kansas City faith leaders raise concerns in March 25 police shooting

BP Surveillance Pic.jpg
Posted at 12:20 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:24:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Members of Kansas City’s faith community are raising concerns about the March 25 police shooting that killed Malcolm Johnson.

Johnson was inside the BP gas station at East 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue when he was approached by Kansas City, Missouri, police officers attempting to arrest Johnson for his alleged role in a previous shooting.

The faith community’s concerns stem from new surveillance video allegedly from inside the gas station which they say raises questions about the incident.

"What I saw was an execution," United Believers Community Church pastor Darron Edwards said to reporters Tuesday afternoon.

WATCH THE VIDEO (Warning: Some viewers might find the content disturbing)

Edwards was joined by Ron Lindsay, senior pastor at Concord Fortress of Hope, Emanuel Cleaver III, pastor at St. James United Methodist Church and Khadijah Hardaway, representing the family of Johnson.

The pastors have worked closely with KCPD Chief Rick Smith in recent police reform efforts through the group, Getting to the Heart of the Matter.

Edwards said Smith told the group he couldn’t watch the video as the incident remains under investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Edwards says their efforts to reach out to MSHP were denied, but a spokesperson for MSHP told 41 Action News Edwards spoke with the supervisor in the case Tuesday morning.

The supervisor reportedly said he would like any information or video in Edwards’ possession.

MSHP said Edwards never got back to the supervisor with the information, though the supervisor made it clear he could make arrangements with the patrol.

The group of faith leaders plans to release the video in a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the gas station.

A KCPD officer was injured in the shooting. That officer was treated and released from the hospital two days later.

Immediately following the shooting, MSHP Sgt. Andy Bell told reporters that during the course of the arrest, a struggle ensued between the officers and Johnson, an account disputed by Hardaway.

Bell said that during the struggle, Johnson allegedly shot one of the officers in the leg, which prompted officers to return fire, which eventually led to Johnson's death. Hardaway also disputed this account, alleging that Johnson, who they don't believe was armed, did not shoot the officer.

The group is demanding the four officers involved face immediate termination, arrest and charges.

"We do believe in police, but we don't believe in this type of policing," Edwards said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.