Was Kajieme Powell Acting as a Martyr?

I’ve watched the video of Kajieme Powell being shot so many times I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with myself. Can someone please explain to me what was going on? Was he trying to mimic the Brown situation to prove a point by sacrificing himself? The petty theft and display of the meaningless products on the side of the road, across from the store he just stole them from…”I’m on Facebook, Instagram, you know who I am”…the guy filming and the other guy watching…moving to his left so the people watching wouldn’t be in the line of fire. Why am I not seeing anyone else talk about this? Can any of you point me in the direction of a news source saying this or debunking it, because I’m really confused. It looks so orchestrated. And was he even holding a knife? I don’t see one.

I know this isn’t a traditional blog post, but I really need some answers and I get a fair amount of traffic. If that is what his goal was, what he did is both tragic and phenomenal. The absurdity of the untouched energy drinks to the side with his lifeless body in the background should really drive this home for people. This behavior by the police is wrong. If his intention was to help people understand this, I think it would be a disservice to his decision to not bring it up.

37 thoughts on “Was Kajieme Powell Acting as a Martyr?

  1. Rob Michaels

    Yes, I feel exactly the same way.
    At 1:33 he glances back, and INCREDIBLY INTENTIONALLY walks sideways to his left, EVEN OVER THE WALL before moving closer to the police.
    I’ve seen just a couple of comments sharing the same observation, but not many.

    Not to make you more uncomfortable, but have you seen the entire unedited cell phone video?

    I found you searching for his Facebook and Instagram. I’m also surprised these haven’t been found yet.

    I hope we find some answers.

    1. mandawritesthings Post author

      Yes!! It was THAT MOMENT where my boyfriend and I BOTH knew this was announced and planned. Everything else is really bizarre on the first view but that starts to clear it all up.

      I can’t find anything. Please keep me posted if you do. I’ve seen quite a few people saying it was suicide by cop, but that implies a much more selfish (self involved?) act than what I saw.

    1. Rob Michaels

      Yes, normally the media are all over the family. Found this.

      Why the heck did the Mayor of St Louis get involved so quickly?

      Also found this – http://www.mylife.com/kajiemepowell
      Shows him in Brooklyn, NY.
      Similar, but pic isn’t clear enough to be 100%
      Saw article saying he just moved to St. Louis to live with his Grandma.

      Still looking for answers.

      1. mandawritesthings Post author

        Have you found anything? I feel like ive spent hours….even if his facebook was searchable on google I feel like he wouldn’t have had the foresight to so that from the gitgo.
        That facebook link is nothing. Did someone delete it?

  2. Rob Michaels

    Have I found anything? Amazingly, no.
    If I find anything, I’ll let you know.
    I don’t know why this event, this person has struck me so.
    Powell is too common. So I’m trying variations of his very unique first name.

    Searching for “KaJieme grandmother” shows conflicting “living with” and “visiting” grandmother reports, but no other details.

    It’s even spookier when you see it freeze framed.
    My intent is not to scare, but to find out this man’s story. I think it deserves to be told.

    1. mandawritesthings Post author

      I’m out to dinner and I’ve had a couple drinks so I’ll have to go over everything later tonight or early tomorrow. Can I ask where you’re from? I’m originally from (and currently in) DC, and I’m SHOCKED to not hear anything about it here.

      1. H Sidney

        Exactly. But instead it’s open season. I’m glad there are other people on earth who 1. care 2. have their eyes, ears and hearts open.

  3. veronika volkov (@veronikvlt)

    Yes. I just found your blog cause I was searching for anyone else writing about this.

    I felt like the man with the camera was in on it too. I don’t know why a man stealing some sodas from the store would have compelled him to leave his house and start filming when he did. It just seems way too coincidental.

    The guy in the striped shirt in the hat is heard saying “This isn’t the way to do it man.” which makes me feel like he knew what he was going to do too.

    1. mandawritesthings Post author

      I was wondering if he made an announcement on Facebook or IG about it, and they both knew. No chance this guy just walks around filming randomly.

      Thanks for the link!! I *really* appreciate it!!

      1. Rob Michaels

        Good point. But if you listen carefully to the beginning, the videographer says,
        “Allright, my home boy just came and got me. and he said dude has just stole soda out the store. …and he like ‘f*ck them’. He like, ‘do something.’ ”
        I forgot where I saw the article that said this gentleman actually went to a lawyer to handle the video. Notice at the end of the video he says, “I got everything on tape. I got everything on tape. I don’t even know what to do…”

  4. Rob Michaels

    The more I look for people discussing this, the more I’m amazed and how differently people see things.

    I haven’t listened to the entire half hour yet, but they describe Powell’s intent.

    I hope this gets to @AndrewAbbass and @veronveronikvlt

    I’m new to this. Could you tweet this with #PowellLooksBack
    In searching “looks back” that seems to be the defining moment.
    Perhaps that will get more people talking.

  5. Rob Michaels

    These comment sequence are getting confusing, but I’m thankful to have this conversation.
    As for why people are not talking more, the entire exchange from police out of the car to shooting is 25 seconds. 25. I watched it from my phone to compare and its all frantic and you really can’t see him glance back.
    The gentleman on Black Talk Radio describes him stepping over the wall as standing on the wall in defiance. There are many interpretations of Powell’s actions, but to me the one that hold true throughout is that this was an act of martyrdom.
    Another detail – did you know about this?
    I realize it’s a stretch of a connection, but the Tibetan monks were there over the weekend, and Powell’s shooting was Thursday, Aug 21.

  6. Omari

    found this post cause i felt the same way. its clear when he said im sick of this shit that he was going out in protest

  7. veronika volkov (@veronikvlt)

    I’m still mad. I just wrote an email to a journalist who wrote this piece http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/27/the-killing-of-kajieme-powell/

    She wrote “unless someone comes forward with additional information we may never know.” Um isn’t it your damn job as a journalist to find this stuff out. The people in the comment section of this blog post have investigated more into this than any journalist I know of. WHAT THE FUCK?

    1. mandawritesthings Post author

      RIGHT?! About a month ago I wrote a post that went viral about BOOBS ON FACEBOOK. I am a college drop out with no background in journalism. HOW ARE MY READERS AND I DOING A BETTER JOB ON THIS THAN PEOPLE WITH RESOURCES AND TRAINING?! It makes me want to rip my hair out.
      I found someone on the Facebook page I was linked to that commented rip. I’m going to try to facebook message them and see how well they knew him.

  8. Rob Michaels

    We should get t-shirts. I’m sorry, but I’m equally frustrated.

    Tony’s not talking on how he found his Facebook,(hi Tony) but its starting to spread a little. Exposing his Facebook will just make things murkier. Too many posts with not enough explanation. And it’s only what he posted, not his complete life.

    The video of Kajieme’s shooting is a Rorschach test.
    1. Some see police shoot crazy man for fear of their lives.
    2. Some see suicide by cop. (subtlety different)
    3. Some see excessive force (should’ve used taser, shoot in leg..)
    4. Some see outright execution.
    5. Some see the final act of total desperation with concern for others until the final moment. Words fail.

    You will never get the first two to understand. You might open the minds to the possibility to the second two. I’m still shocked at how small our 5th group is. From what I can tell, that’s what drove Kajieme to do what he did.

    However I will share this. On June 26, 2012 at 9:41 PM, he did post a link to this video –

    Listen to Rule #1.
    Then check the link in the video description “THEY ARE MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO FILM POLICE BRUTALITY” (and remember he knew that he was being recorded)
    Then an hour later he commented on himself, “Knowing your Rights are your Right…..!”

    But myself ever the optimist, the one thing item that would get all five groups talking would be the issue of the police line-of-fire. Just today police shot and killed a COPS TV show sound man in Omaha in a shoot out with an Airsoft armed robber. Of course it will be dismissed as legitimate, but highlights how police have to be aware of bystanders in those situations.

    The police certainly weren’t concerned in Kajieme’s case. They got out of the car drawing their weapons and pointed them not only at Kajieme, but the BYSTANDERS BEHIND THEM! We’re all so used to seeing that on TV it doesn’t phase us. I’m surprised the videographer didn’t hit the deck when they came out, but again, we’re desensitized. Even more amazing is that Kajieme was concerned.

    And by the way, everybody saw this, right?

    Take heart.

  9. lastterm5

    Sorry its taken me so long to find your page. I overlooked the link, being a twitter noob. Anyway, thanks for the story, and I’ll leave your twitter alone now and leave anything further regarding Mr. Powell for this space.


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