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Law enforcement accountability activist, retired FBI agent respond to KCPD shooting surveillance video

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 20:19:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Kansas City, Missouri, police shot and killed a man at a gas station Sunday night.

KSHB 41 News obtained surveillance footage of the shooting showing a clearer picture of what happened.

The video shows officers approach the man, who was suspected of stealing a car, with their guns drawn. The suspect then quickly backs the car up and drives toward another officer who just arrived on the scene.

Shortly after, the video shows that officer jumping out of the way. The suspect then continues to drive away when officers fire several shots, killing the suspect.

Steve Young, an activist with the Kansas City Law Enforcement Accountability Project, said he believes the officers could have handled the situation differently.

He believes the officers escalated the situation when approaching the car with their guns drawn.

"He could've had a weapon in the car, so why would you put yourself that close to that vehicle with your gun drawn not knowing what he had in the car," Young said. "When the car was backed up of course, now they are within that close vicinity of the vehicle, so now they feel like their lives are in danger when they put themselves there."

However, retired FBI agent Michael Tabman, said approaching with their guns drawn is at the discretion of the officers in a situation like this.

He said the action of the suspect backing up and driving at officers justifies the use of deadly force.

"When that officer opened fire he was in fear of his life, and he fired, and the other officer fired in his defense, that was a legitimate use of lethal force," Tabman said.

Young said he doesn't think the officers took the lives of the innocent bystanders into consideration when opening fire.

As for why the officers couldn't simply let the suspect drive away, Tabman said that's not how the system works.

"He's a danger to society. If those actions don't qualify as an imminent danger to society, then I don't know what else is," Tabman said. "He's fleeing with his vehicle, which he used as a weapon, I believe the officers are justified in the use of force in this situation."

Young said he brought up his concerns to KCPD Interim Chief of Police Mabin and told him he doesn't feel KCPD takes de-escalation seriously.

He said transparency about situations like this are crucial and mean police will be held accountable for their actions.

"They have to be held to a higher standard because they have our lives in their hands you know, they have qualified immunity on their side, they have to take that as a huge responsibility," Young said.