Officials confirm body cam footage of pregnant suspect holding a gun was not Photoshopped

(Video Credit: FOX4 News Kansas City)

In the name of transparency, after being accused of doctoring a photo, the prosecutor and the mayor’s office in Kansas City released a still shot of a pregnant, black suspect with a gun in hand before she was shot by police.

Leonna Hale, 26, is a suspect in an armed carjacking. Originally, leftists claimed that she was unarmed as she exited the vehicle and had her hands up when officers shot her. An image in bodycam footage tells an entirely different tale.

Mayor Quinton Lucas’ office has confirmed the legitimacy of the photo and stated that it was not Photoshopped despite claims from the left, according to KCTV 5.

The still photo is blurry and it is not a high-quality shot according to the mayor’s office. The mayor personally watched the body camera video showing the suspect allegedly holding a gun when she was shot three times on May 27 according to a Missouri State High Patrol investigation.

There were those on the left who charged that the photo was doctored. But the mayor, the prosecutor, and the police union deny that is the case.

Investigators reviewed the footage and noted that officers could be heard giving verbal commands to drop the firearm, and Hale was “observed to still be pointing the firearm in the victims’ direction.” Three gunshots were heard and two officers reported they discharged their firearms.

“A suspect handgun was located in the parking lot near a vehicle,” Sgt. Andy Bell with MSHP stated.

Court records indicate that the body-worn camera video showed Hale stumbled and fell to the ground after she was shot and did not appear to have a firearm in her hands at that point. Police say she was placed in handcuffs and officers called EMS to respond. Her injuries were initially described as serious. She is now reportedly in stable condition, according to KMBC News.

During an initial interview, Hale denied having a gun or anything in her hands according to court records. Detectives say Hale requested a lawyer when they asked to interview her a second time.

A woman who recorded the incident shared the video online claiming that Hale was unarmed when she was shot. On Wednesday, prosecutors released the image of the suspect recorded on a police body-worn camera that purportedly showed a gun in Hale’s hand.

“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,” prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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,” Baker continued. “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.”

Kansas City Missouri Fraternal Order of Police president Brad Lemon slammed the media Thursday morning after they promoted the other video taken by the woman who claimed Hale was unarmed.

Hale has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, and resisting lawful detention.

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