It turned out the man was armed with a knife, but the "officer," who was actually the firebrand African-American activist known as Quanell X, acknowledged he would have fired whether the assailant had a knife, a spoon or an empty hand.
“I didn’t even see it,” said the leader of the Houston area Black Panther Party, who was taking part in a training scenario in an attempt to understand what police officers go through during high-pressure situations. “It could have been anything in his hand, and I still would have used force to stop him.
It all happened so fast," he added. "You don’t know what they could have in their hand.”