Suspect Killed by Police After Trying to Stab Them, Protests Begin Claiming Officers Shouldn’t Have Defended Themselves
Missoula, Montana – Officers from Missoula, Montana Police Department were forced to shoot a man attacking them with a knife Saturday night after police were called to the 2300 block of Sherwood Lane on a report of a disturbance at 5.25 p.m
“Responding officers were immediately confronted by a male armed with a knife. The male did not comply with commands to drop the knife and instead, attacked the initial responding officer. The officer was forced to defend himself and shot the male, who was later pronounced deceased,” police said in a press release on the incident.
Police said the deceased suspect was Kale Brown, 34.
Days later, protesters gathered outside City Hall in Missoula on Sunday and Monday numbering approximately 30 people that held signs that stated, “Stop using your guns,” “Police reform NOW,” and “His name was Kale Brown” Although made clear by statements from the Missoula Police Department that officers were forced to shoot Kale in self-defense as he attacked them with the deadly threat of a knife, friends of Brown stated he “suffered from a mental health crisis on the night he died, which prompted him to act poorly when confronted with police.”
Protesters, despite the immediate response and transparency from the police department in relation to the incident, demanded more transparency from the Missoula Police Department, information about the incident, the officers involved and an overhaul of the way agencies dealt with mental health issues.
Saturday’s shooting is under investigation by the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigations.
In an email to local paper the Missoulian on Monday, Mayor John Engen said, “I believe the officers involved in the tragic event over the weekend saved lives and performed their duties professionally. Unfortunately, the investigative process doesn’t allow for evidence to be public until the investigation is complete, so I’ll ask for patience from folks interested in this case as those jurisdictions do their work.”
“Abhorring police brutality is among the many things most Missoulians agree on, including me,” Engen said. He also said he appreciates “folks exercising their right to assemble and speak their minds, as well, and to hold us accountable any time we use force as a function of public safety.”