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Pastors' Views On Johnson Shooting | Eyewitness Memory

Store Surveillance Video
Security camera footage shows Kansas City police confronting Malcolm Johnson in the BP gas station at 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue in March.

Two Kansas City pastors say new videos of the police shooting of Malcolm Johnson refute the official narrative, and when an eyewitness' memory is — or isn't — to be considered reliable.

Segment, beginning at 1:00: In an exclusive interview with Up To Date, Kansas City faith leaders express their outrage over the March police shooting of 31-year-old Malcolm Johnson in a Kansas City gas station.

The pastors say new videos that have surfaced don’t meet the description of the event produced by the Missouri Highway Patrol which is reviewing the shooting. They explain why they believe this police shooting was an "execution."

Segment, beginning at 29:20: Why law enforcement at every level should be applying a simple test to a witness' memory of a crime.

Eyewitness accounts of a crime can, like any piece of evidence, be contaminated. Why the only "uncontaminated" version of a memory is the very first time a witness tells what they saw and why assessing the confidence of that first telling is key. We examine how this applies to the only eyewitness account of the triple murder that saw Kevin Strickland erroneously convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

  • John Wixted, Ph.D., distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.