Video has surfaced showing shooting victim Kajieme Powell - the second black man shot by police near Ferguson - quite a bit further away from police when killed, and without any sort of knife overhead or "overhand" as far as I can tell.
Do not misunderstand: he had stolen two bottles of soda and a honey bun, was behaving erratically, and from what I can hear but not see, really did have a knife. The shop owner had called (as had a neighbour) saying that he had a knife.
This victim's arms were at his side when both officers unloaded on him, and he was - assuming person heights I'd expect - 10-12 feet away from the nearer officer when both began firing, not 3-4 as previously claimed. He had actually been closer a few seconds before, moved away, and was moving back towards officers. Keep all that in mind when blindly believing what police have to say.
Regardless, the case here for self-defense is marginally better. But.
The officers both exited the vehicle with pistols drawn on a shoplifting call, upon seeing a man without a drawn weapon walking around on a sidewalk. There were people watching further down the block, but nobody in immediate proximity. They were not overwhelmed; two other officers were there within 60 seconds of the shooting, and four within 90 seconds; it was a flood of police.
I've seen police respond to erratic-behaviour calls of people with far bigger knives than this guy had. I've seen police respond to shoplifting calls. I've seen police respond to assault calls, to knife-fight-in-progress calls, to armed-and-presumed-dangerous calls... and I have not seen a response like this. There was no attempt to talk him down; there was no attempt to do anything other than bark orders for 10 seconds or so, then unload.
To me, it looks like they went in with the assumption they'd be shooting this man down, and did so, 14 seconds after exiting their vehicle. They went in with a plan - if you can call it that - of immediate compliance, or death. And they went with death.
If I counted right, eight shots were fired after he was already on the ground. What would that be, an octuple tap?
You can call this "suicide by cop" if you want to, but goddammit, police should not escalate the situation. They shouldn't make it worse. They shouldn't help.
But they sure as hell did here.
This is extremely graphic video and may not stay online for long. For obvious reasons, I'm not embedding it.