In the lobby of the Longview Police Department station nearly two weeks ago, police fired their guns five times at a mentally ill teenager named Kristiana Coignard, killing her. In her final moments, Coignard was cornered by three armed officers. Why couldn't they subdue her without killing her? The Longview Police Department say it was because Coignard was wielding the butcher knife pictured above.
Longview police sent us the image following their release last week of surveillance video capturing Coignard's struggle with police officers and her death. In the footage, we couldn't see a knife in Coignard's hands, though the quality of the video was poor.
According to a statement from Longview Police, Coignard was carrying a large knife in her waistband and was trying to pull it out. Then she charged at an officer with the knife "in a threatening manner," leading an officer to fire his Taser at her. The Taser had "no effect" on Coignard for reasons unexplained, so the officers fired their guns.
In the moments before Coignard is shot, she is blocked by the backs of officers facing the surveillance camera, making it impossible for us to see what she is doing. And police say there is no additional video to clear things up. While some Tasers come equipped with videos, Longview PD spokesman Kristie Brian says that her departments' do not.
We're still trying to reach Coignard's family for comment.
Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.