A San Francisco Bay Space police officer was charged Wednesday with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a black man inside a Walmart retailer in April.
The cost was filed Wednesday in the April 18 killing of Steven Taylor, 33, when San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher, 49, responded to a name about an alleged shoplifter inside the shop who was holding a baseball bat.
A 20-year veteran, Fletcher didn’t look ahead to backup and as a substitute tried to seize the bat from Taylor, then fired his Taser and his service weapon, all in lower than 40 seconds, Alameda County District Legal professional Nancy O’Malley mentioned in a information launch.
“Officer Fletcher’s actions, coupled along with his failure to aim different de-escalation choices rendered his use of lethal power unreasonable,” O’Malley mentioned.
Taylor’s household is inspired by the choice, mentioned an announcement issued by their lawyer.
“Mr. Taylor was struggling a psychological well being disaster and didn’t signify a risk to officers or most people earlier than being Tased and shot to death,” the assertion mentioned. “Though this is a vital first step in in search of justice, the household is raring to see Fletcher convicted and appropriately sentenced.”
Police had been known as to the shop by a safety guard who reported a doable theft. Fletcher, the primary officer to reach, clarified with the safety guard that it was not a theft, then he relayed that data by means of his police radio, prosecutors mentioned.
“Officer Fletcher didn’t look ahead to his cowl officer and instantly contacted Mr. Taylor in the purchasing cart space,” they mentioned.
Surveillance video confirmed Fletcher pulled out his service pistol on the identical time he tried to take the bat from Taylor. Taylor pulled the bat from Fletcher’s grasp and stepped away.
Shortly after, Fletcher shot Taylor twice along with his taser. As Taylor struggled to stay standing, Fletcher shot him in the chest along with his service weapon simply as one other officer arrived in the shop, prosecutors mentioned.
“A radical evaluate of the statements of witnesses and concerned law enforcement officials, bodily proof and the evaluate of a number of movies of the shooting reveals that on the time of the shooting it was not affordable to conclude Mr. Taylor posed an imminent risk of death or nice bodily harm to Officer Fletcher or to anybody else in the shop,” O’Malley mentioned.
Taylor’s household has mentioned that the officers ought to have tried to de-escalate the scenario with out firing their weapons.
“Sure, he was homeless. Sure, he had psychological points. Sure, he was Black,” his grandmother, Addie Kitchen, mentioned at a rally final month for Taylor. “However does that imply we homicide homeless folks? That police can kill folks with psychological points? I need to see that nothing like this occurs once more.”
San Leandro Police Chief Jeff Tudor mentioned in an announcement it was essential to permit “the judicial course of to take its course” and referred all inquiries to the district lawyer’s workplace.
“Because the Police Chief of San Leandro, I do know the loss of Steven Taylor has deeply affected this neighborhood,” Tudor mentioned.
Fletcher is anticipated to be arraigned Sept. 15.