(TPM) – Following outrage from left-wing activists and groups over the shooting of a Kansas City woman who reportedly told police that she was pregnant, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office has released a still from an officer’s body camera revealing that the woman was armed.
On May 27, Kansas City police officers responded to the area of 6th and Prospect Avenue in regards to a vehicle that was involved in a robbery. The officers located the vehicle at a nearby Family Dollar.
According to a Missouri State High Patrol investigation cited by KCTV, the vehicle had been allegedly stolen in an armed carjacking.
When they arrived and conducted a car check, the male driver of the vehicle fled on foot, with two officers following him.
The female passenger, 26-year-old Leonna Hale, exited the vehicle and walked to the rear of the car, while officers attempted to give her orders.
According to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, “They determined she was armed and stated that she pointed a firearm at them and they discharged their firearms at her. Video surveillance from body cameras showed Hale being told to drop the firearm and pointing it at the officers before the officers fired three shots.”
One officer at the scene told investigators that she feared Hale was going to shoot her, and shot her firearm once. A second officer said that he believed Hale had a firearm pointed at him. According to the Daily Mail, the officers shot as she was attempting to flee the scene.
Hale was taken to a local hospital for treatment with serious injuries, but is in stable condition, according to KCTV.
She has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and the misdemeanor of resisting a lawful detention.
According to the Daily Mail, “Investigators said in court documents that Hale denied ever having a gun when she was interviewed by Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers.”
Hale reportedly declined to participate in a follow-up interview when detectives contacted her after viewing the body camera footage.
One eyewitness said that Hale had told officers that she was pregnant, though Rev. Timothy Hayes told the Kansas City Star that that is not the case.
“She is not, in fact, pregnant,” the pastor of the 24-hour Faith Training Center in Kansas City, who is working with her family, claimed.
Speaking with KCUR, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Andy Bell said that claims that Hale is pregnant are more unlikely than not, but noted that the information is protected under patient-doctor privacy laws.
Following numerous reports that Hale was unarmed, with Twitter users stating that the shooting of Hale is yet another incident of officers shooting an unarmed black person, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office released a still from body camera footage taken that day, which shows Hale running with a pistol in her hand.
Speaking on why the photo was released, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said, “Some false narratives about what happened last Friday night at 6th and Prospect Avenue, unfortunately, were relied upon by some media and other sources. Our job, as prosecutors, is to remain neutral and review all evidence. Our review of body cam videos provided the actual accounting of events that night.”
“Our review of the investigation revealed the defendant, although she denied having a weapon at the time of the encounter with law enforcement officers, continually displayed a weapon during her encounter with police officers and also appeared to be attempting to flee. The two officers stated that she was armed with what they believed to be a handgun. Body camera footage confirms the officers’ statements that Hale was holding a handgun. Still photos, taken from body cam footage, of this encounter also demonstrate a weapon was present and in the hands of the defendant,” Baker added.
The claims that Hale was unarmed were echoed by Twitter users like Arizona Democratic representative candidate Ryan Shead, Pulitzer Prize recipient Laurie Garrett, and controversial former Women’s March board member Linda Sarsour.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) June 2, 2022