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PR: DEATH OF KHALIL LAWAL BY PHILLY COP JAMES POWELL

Press Release
June 29, 2018
(provided to thefayth at Netroots Nation)

Point of Contact: Crystal Evans
Crystalevans1010@gmail.com
202.643.4911


DEATH OF KHALIL LAWAL BY PHILLY COP JAMES POWELL 

PHOTO OF KHALIL FROM www.socialistalternativephl.org

On January 29th, 2018, after accidentally hitting a pedestrian, Khalil Lawal was approached by Philadelphia Police Officer James Powell—who was off duty at the time—and shot 15 times mere seconds after the encounter. James Powell shot Khalil first at point blank range and then several more times as Khalil was already laid on the ground.

Khalil was unarmed and had not been committing any crimes when Powell approached him from behind with his gun already in hand. Khalil was shot directly in his left eye, his temple, his neck, chest and legs but succumbed to his injuries almost 2 hours after the incident.

In April, the Lawal family discovered that the Philadelphia Police Dept. still had not taken a statement from Powell—about 3 months following the shooting—even though Philadelphia Police Dept. protocol dictate that Internal Affairs interview officers within 3 days.

This is another case of the Philadelphia police killing an unarmed black man and a lack of transparency within the Philadelphia PD’s investigation. We demand justice through a transparent and thorough investigation into why 15 close range shots were necessary. Because of this Dept.’s unwillingness to conduct a transparent, thorough and fair investigation this far, we demand the following:

1. Release the video footage of Khalil’s killing – District Attorney Larry Krasner’s Office should release the footage which shows Officer Powell shooting Khalil all at less than an arm’s length away and then continuing to shoot as Khalil is laid on the ground.

2. District Attorney Larry Krasner should move forward with charging James Powell for Khalil’s murder –15 shots can never be justified.

3. Larry Krasner’s office needs to provide a statement on the investigation so far –the office has remained silent since January and has refused to talk to Khalil’s family.

4. A clear statement on the progress/findings of the internal investigation– Internal Affairs waited months before interviewing James Powell signaling a failure of due diligence and lack of good faith early on in this investigation.

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