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No charges filed against KCK officer who shot, killed Amaree’ya Henderson

KCK police shooting
Posted at 2:44 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 19:05:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No charges will be filed against the Kansas City, Kansas, police officer who shot and killed Amaree'ya Henderson last month, the Wyandotte County District Attorney announced Friday.

Henderson's family said he was completing a DoorDash order when the shooting occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Aprll 26 in the 1100 block of Metropolitan Avenue in KCK.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree said Henderson's family has seen the body camera footage of the shooting.

Dupree said that during a traffic stop, Henderson began driving away at a high rate of speed.

The officer who discharged his weapon was stuck between the door and the driver's compartment.

Dupree said despite multiple commands from the officer to stop, Henderson continued driving at a high rate of speed. The officer then opened fire, striking and killing Henderson.

"Under Kansas law, an officer may use deadly force if he or she is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death," Dupree said in a news release.

In a statement, Attorney Nuru Witherspoon, who's representing Henderson's family, said the decision by Dupree's office "fails to factor in all of the circumstances surrounding (the officer's) traffic stop."

“The body cam shows a disgusting display of excessive force, and the unlawful, unnecessary killing of another young, unarmed Black man,” Witherspoon said.

Attorney Kay Harper Williams, who's also representing the family, said they were shown a redacted version of the footage and is now calling for the full footage to be released.

“The police department has the ability to release the footage to the public, now that the investigation is closed,” Williams said. “Pauletta Johnson said it best. If there is nothing to hide, then KCKPD should release the full, unredacted video to the public.”

Two weeks after the shooting, Henderson's family demanded to see footage of the encounter.

Henderson's girlfriend was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting and his mother was on a FaceTime call en route to the scene.

Attorneys for the Henderson family said he was scared of police after an encounter as a teenager and was scared during the traffic stop, which is why he tried to leave.

"As with all officer-involved shootings, now that the independent investigation has taken place and the Wyandotte County District Attorney has conducted his review, KCKPD will now conduct an administrative review to determine that policy was followed; and if any changes to existing policy are warranted," the department said in a statement. "Due to potential civil litigation, the Department will make no further statements regarding the incident."