/  05.30.2022

The Kansas City Police Department is under fire after shooting an unarmed pregnant Black woman five times. The incident took place on Friday (May 27) in the Independence Plaza neighborhood.

Twenty-six-year-old Leonna Hale has been identified as the victim.

Sources say the Kansas City Police Department claimed the horrifying encounter stemmed from an attempt to arrest a woman and man for suspicion of a stolen vehicle. Witnesses on the scene say Hale had her hands up before officers opened fire five times.

A woman asking only to be identified as Shédanja, recorded the events following the ordeal. She told The Kansas City Star that officers yelled, “Get out the car,” to a male and female in a car near her.

The eyewitness says the man got out of the vehicle, jumped a fence and ran away. However, the woman exited the car with her hands up.

According to reports, “the cops told the woman to get on the ground, but the woman informed them that she was pregnant, and so she couldn’t get down on the ground.” Witnesses say the police asked Hale to get on the ground multiple times, to which the woman refused.

Next, the 26-year-old supposedly informed officers that a weapon in the car. As Hale backed away from the vehicle, eyewitnesses say police drew their guns. The frightened pregnant woman began to run away, but was met with gunfire.

“She did not pull out a weapon on them,” Shédanja said. “She did not even have a stick in her hand.”

“I remember seeing her hit the ground and I froze,” the bystander continued. The woman says she asked officers why they shot Hale, but they did not respond.

The Kansas City Defender says that after officers shot Hale five times, they handcuffed her. The woman is said to be in stable condition.

Interim Kansas City Police Chief Joseph Chief Mabin released a statement saying, “We never want to be in these [types] of situations. Not the public, as a police department. Anytime it happens is a blight on our community. I want to ensure the public the scene is secure. There’s no on-going threat. We’re committed to be 100% transparent. This is a holiday weekend. It’s time for friends. Not a time for violence.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol is reportedly investigating the shooting.

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