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Highway patrol concludes investigation on Kansas City police shooting of Malcolm Johnson

Video shows Kansas City police confront Malcolm Johnson in gas station before shooting

The investigation into the Kansas City police shooting of Malcolm Johnson has concluded, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Thursday.

The case file was sent to highway patrol officials in Jefferson City as part of the agency’s chain of command and will next be released to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. No timetable has been set on when that would occur, said Sgt. William Lowe, a spokesman for the highway patrol.

“We have gathered all the facts, and evidence, we have up to this point,” Lowe said. “The investigation, in theory, is not concluded until the prosecutor’s office has ruled.”

A Kansas City police officer fatally shot 31-year-old Johnson in a gas station at 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue on March 25.

His death stoked anger earlier this month when a group of faith leaders released a surveillance video that they said showed Johnson was restrained when he was shot and contradicted police accounts of the encounter.

Khadijah Hardaway, a spokeswoman for the family, said Thursday that they are pleased the investigation has concluded, but remain pessimistic that the officers involved will be held accountable.

“The continuation of lying and wanting to tell the community what happened, or even educate us about the process which is a horrible feeling,” Hardaway said Thursday. “It is really clear that this young man was on his stomach in all three of those videos, and he was executed.”

The family and others have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting as well as other practices and patterns of the Kansas City Police Department.

“I don’t believe that there will necessarily be any honesty coming from this,” Hardaway said. “So the idea of transparency in our eyes, it looks like the same old, same old, happening all over. The idea that we should lay down and believe this and keep going through the process is insanity.”

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The two-minute-and 28-second video shows two officers approach a man identified by faith leaders as Johnson, who was standing at the counter. With their guns drawn, the officers immediately grab him.

A struggle unfolds and more officers try to restrain him on the ground. The camera angle only shows the man’s feet as the confrontation continues. The video ends as an officer who appears to be wounded in the leg is rushed out of the store.

The highway patrol said the officers tried to arrest Johnson when “a fight, a struggle ensued.” The patrol said Johnson drew a handgun and shot one of the officers in the leg as two other officers arrived on the scene to assist with the arrest.

The wounded officer returned gunfire, fatally wounding Johnson.

Except for the officer who was wounded, all of the officers involved in the shooting are on full duty, said Sgt. Jacob Becchina, a police spokesman. The injured officer remains on medical leave.

The highway patrol has not released details on which officer fatally shot Johnson.

When the video was released, Rev. Emanuel Cleaver III, of St. James United Methodist Church, said all of the officers should be fired and criminally charged.

Johnson’s death has prompted another round of calls for police reform by area community groups and activists.

Other videos have also surfaced, including one appeared to have been captured by a store employee.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said her office had received videos from witnesses and community members to review. Baker said her office would determine if there were any discrepancies between the original account of the shooting and the actual evidence.

Hardaway said the three videos that were given to authorities provide ample evidence for Baker’s office to immediately file criminal charges against the officers.

“So the question to Jean remains why haven’t you done that yet and what more does the community need to do in order for you to do that,” she said.

Johnson was sought by police in connection with a March 15 shooting in which a bullet grazed the foot of a man at a home in the 9700 block of East 43rd Street.

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Shawn Utley

Shawn previously worked as a journalist for several local newspapers until he realized the potential of internet for news reporting. He joined the team as a contributor which provided him a platform to dedicate his experience and knowledge for a wider range of audience. He excels in curating business news for the website.

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