Body-camera video of the fatal shooting of Steven Taylor by San Leandro Police last Saturday shows the officer and the victim were face-to-face just moments before he was shot in the chest.
The San Leandro Police Department released what they called a “critical incident video” on Wednesday afternoon. The 13-minute video includes additional cell phone video, along with body-camera video from both officers involved in the incident, in addition, to audio of the 911 call.
“We know this incident has garnered much attention in our community,” San Leandro Police Chief Jeff Tudor said. “And that’s why we’re releasing this video now before the investigation is complete so that we can provide as much information as possible to our community as the process continues.”
The names of officers were not released out of concern they could be threatened with violence, the video noted. However, the officer’s faces are clearly shown throughout each video.
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Taylor, a 33-year-old African-American man, had suffered from mental illness in the past, his family said earlier this week. They added he may have been having such an episode at the Walmart on Hesperian Boulevard.
The 911 call described Taylor as holding a bat and threatening employees and customers inside the store. He was suspected of theft, the caller told the dispatcher.
An alternate cell phone video shows a San Leandro police officer confronting Taylor inside the store. At one point they are standing face-to-face before the officer makes a failed attempt to take the bat out of Taylor’s hands. Taylor then abruptly jumps away.
The moment is important. During investigations, police officers involved in fatal shootings often defend the use of excessive force due to a fear for their own safety.
A Taser gun is later deployed by the same officer before he shortly discharged his weapon. A wave of screams from customers inside the store can be heard. As Taylor stumbled backwards, a second officer also use his Taser gun to subdue.
Body-camera video from the second officer shows he entered the store just as the first officer shot Taylor. Attempts to revive Taylor were unsuccessful and he died at the scene, according to police.
The attorney for Taylor’s family had previously questioned why a second Taser was used on the victim. Others have criticized police for failing to quickly offer medical care to Taylor.
The videos also show customers and Walmart employees were in close proximity to the incident. In one video, a customer is seen walking back and forth behind Taylor just moments before he was shot by police. The shooting also occurred in front of what appears to be an array of clothing racks.
San Leandro Police and the Alameda County District Attorney’s office are currently investigating the shooting.
Are you telling me a group of grown men were unable to disarm this guy who from this video appeared to be bluffing and not actually trying to hit anyone? Correct me if im wrong but the entire time this dude was in the store, he never actually struck anyone with this bat. It looks like he was having some kind of mental breakdown (maybe something happened in his life? found out his girlfriend cheated on him or something? something else happened in his family? who knows) and was maybe suicidal but didn’t have the nerve to actually kill himself. So he figured he’d walk into a walmart and start waving a bat around to get himself shot. When the cop tried to disarm he shrugged him off and told him “bust then”, as in “shoot me”, and moved away from the officer. Tasing him did not cause him to drop the bat, but at that point there was enough officers on scene to overpower him and it seemed apparent that the subject was not actually intent on using the bat, since he would have likely swung it by then. The risk of injury to the team at that point was not high. Should have just called the kid’s bluffed and tackled him. Shooting and killing him was unnecessary. Tasing him right after shooting him also probably contributed to his death and suffering.
Walmart’s need to release their Security video
It obvious that he was not coming forward toward the office in a attacking manner he is in the process of being tased and with him being shocked he was being pulled toward the cops by them testing him it’s straight murder
I agree with the comment from Thomas_Clarke. The officers did not de-escalate the situation when they arrived. They should have found out from Mr. Taylor what was going on, tried to talk to him and reason with him first. Shooting should only occur when a person life is threatened and as a last resort. I don’t see him lunging at the officer or at anyone. Couldn’t the office have shot his feet or legs? I am very upset and disappointed at the lack of judgment.
John Burris will make a lot of money out the tax payers in San Leandro and the folks at WalMart.
I watched the video 3 times with the sound off and then twice with it on. It is easier to follow with the sound off.
Officer A spent very little time trying to engage in any sort of contact with Taylor. Taylor was not attacking with the bat. He looked to me like he was trying to back away. Officer A’s Taser looked to me like it made solid contact with the back pack straps and poor contact with Taylor. Officer B Charged in and looked like he fired his Taser at the same time that Officer A shot Taylor once in the chest.
Police kill one more African American at WalMart.
Not a justified shooting from my view.
Of course this is San Leandro so guess who loses and guess who wins. Place your money on WalMart and the San Leandro Police.
The losers are Mr. Taylor, his family and the taxpayers of San Leandro and Alameda County.