Coming up on the one-year anniversary of Donnie Sanders’ death, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the Kansas City Police Dept. officer who shot and killed Sanders will not be charged.
Dash camera video released by the prosecutor’s office shows Sanders was pulled over by Officer Blayne Newton near 52nd St. and Wabash Ave. There was a short foot pursuit and Newton is heard on his radio asking Sanders to “show me your hands,” then says “drop” four times before firing, shooting Sanders three times.
Months after killing Sanders, Newton was the same officer that was captured on video pushing his knee into the back of nine-months pregnant Deja Stallings.
Newton told investigators that Sanders held up his hand toward him “as if he’s got a gun.”
According to the prosecutor’s office, two witnesses corroborated Newton’s account, yet Sanders was found unarmed with just a cellphone in his pocket.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said there was insufficient evidence to file charges against the officer.
The investigation was led by the Missouri Highway Patrol and Peters Baker had a judge select a special, outside prosecutor to also oversee the investigation. She also said she sought outside reviews by two other district attorney offices and asked for their independent review, but both offices determined no charges should be filed in Sanders’ case.
Sanders’ family does not agree with the decision and wants to see Newton charged. At a press conference March 2, Sanders’ uncle, Mark Sanders, said they probably won’t ever see Newton’s conviction. “We’ve seen it over and over,” he said. “Who are they going to kill next?”
“Like others in our community, we mourn the loss of the victim,” Peters Baker said. “These events exact a great toll on our community, a community searching for hope to heal and prevent the staggering high levels of violence in this city. We continue to search for new partners to address and suppress this violence and begin to heal the resulting trauma and harm for our community.”