Kansas City officer won’t be charged in shooting death of Donnie Sanders

Missouri prosecutor says evidence is insufficient to pursue case against unnamed officer who killed Black man after foot chase.

Authorities in Missouri say they will not file charges against the Kansas City police officer who shot and killed Donnie Sanders, a 47-year-old unarmed Black man, in March 2020.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker made the announcement Monday and said a witness corroborated the officer’s belief that Sanders was moving toward him with what he thought was a weapon.

Sanders had a cell phone, the prosecutor’s statement said. One witness “said he was ‘pointing whatever it was’ at the officer,'” and later said they also thought it appeared to be a gun.

Baker said her office made the decision after consulting with outside district attorneys, attempting to enhance audio from the night of the shooting and repeatedly canvassing the scene of the incident for more witnesses.

“Like others in our community, we mourn the loss of the victim,” Baker said, adding that her office continues “to search for new partners to address and suppress this violence and begin to heal the resulting trauma and harm for our community.”

The Kansas City Star reported that the police dashcam footage showed an officer making a U-turn and following Sanders into an alley before he turned on his sirens and lights. The officer later pursues Sanders by foot, off camera, where shouting and gunshots can be heard.