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Woman shot May 27 by KCPD officers released from hospital, posted bond out of jail

May 27 KCPD Shooting Picture Leonna Hale.jpg
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-05 13:32:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman shot May 27 by Kansas City, Missouri, police officers in the parking lot of a Family Dollar store near East Sixth Street and Prospect Avenue has been released from the hospital.

Following her release from the hospital, she was booked into jail.

Leonna Hale, 26, appeared Friday as an inmate at the Jackson County Detention Center in KCMO.

Hale is charged with two felonies, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

Her bond was set at $25,000, including the option to post 10% bail and be released from jail. Hale posted $2,500 on June 3 and was released, according to court documents.

The shooting of Hale by police — a male and a female officer both opened fire, according to information from the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office — stirred up controversy amid accounts from eyewitnesses that have proven untrue.

Activists staged protests after the shooting and the prosecutor took the unusual step of releasing a still image from one of the KCPD officers' body-worn cameras, which shows Hale with a gun in her hand.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation, but some community members remain skeptical even after the release of a photo.

Another unusual step was taken Friday as several community members were shown the body-camera footage of the incident.

Damon Daniel, president of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, was among those who saw the video and said it corroborates that Hale was holding a gun.

“The video showed what the still image showed as well,” Daniel said. “Essentially, what I saw is a woman with a gun.”

He would not say whether the officers’ conduct was justified.

“That’s something for the courts or the investigation to decide on that,” Daniel said.

He added that he thought the charges against Hale — unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting lawful detention — were fair after watching the video.

Officers went to the store parking lot May 27 to check a vehicle, which was believed to have been stolen earlier that day in Kansas City, Kansas, according to court documents.

They found a man and woman who matched the description put out by KCK police inside the vehicle, which had a matching license plate as well.

KCPD officers ordered the man and woman out of the vehicle, which is when both jumped out and ran, according to court records.

Two officers chased down the driver while two other officers said they watched Hale get out of the car and go to the rear of the vehicle.

After spotting what was believed to be a gun in her hand, officers gave Hale commands to drop the gun, which she ignored, according to a KCPD probable cause statement.

The officers told investigators Hale pointed the gun at them, and both fired their guns at Hale.

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker released a statement after charges were filed against Hale.

"Some false narratives about what happened last Friday night at 6th and Prospect Avenue, unfortunately, were relied upon by some media and other sources," Baker said. "Our job, as prosecutors, is to remain neutral and review all evidence. Our review of body cam videos provided the actual accounting of events that night.

"Our review of the investigation revealed the defendant, although she denied having a weapon at the time of the encounter with law enforcement officers, continually displayed a weapon during her encounter with police officers and also appeared to be attempting to flee. The two officers stated that she was armed with what they believed to be a handgun. Body camera footage confirms the officers’ statements that Hale was holding a handgun. Still photos, taken from body cam footage, of this encounter also demonstrate a weapon was present and in the hands of the defendant."

Hale is scheduled to appear June 9 in a Jackson County courtroom.