After Ferguson, new focus on race and policing

Police SWAT Armor Suitsource: Voice of America
published: 15 September 2014

Last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed African American teen by a white police officer after a street confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri, has drawn a new focus on other such cases throughout the U.S., amid protests and demands by civil rights leaders for investigation of racial bias in aggressive policing.

Barely a week after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, police in nearby St. Louis shot and killed Kajieme Powell, a mentally disturbed 25-year-old black man who held a small steak knife. Two police officers fired within 15 seconds of arriving at the scene where Powell was walking around, seemingly aimlessly, with his hands at his side.

In Utah, a 22-year-old black man was shot dead on September 10 by police in Saratoga Springs. He had been carrying on his back a one meter-long souvenir Samurai sword he had bought in a gift shop, and some witnesses said he appeared “distressed.” His family says he was shot in the back while running away.

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