A police officer in California has been charged with felony manslaughter in the shooting of a black man in a Walmart.
San Leandro police officer Jason Fletcher has been charged with felony manslaughter in the shooting of a black man at a Walmart in April. The district attorney says Fletcher's use of a firearm on 33-year-old Steven Taylor was an unreasonable use of deadly force.
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Police were called in response to an alleged shoplifter holding a baseball bat. When Fletcher arrived, he initially tried to grab the bat from Taylor, but failed. He then tased Taylor, who stumbled back. While Taylor struggled to remain standing, Fletcher shot him in the chest.
“The decision to file the criminal complaint was made after an intensive investigation and thorough analysis of the evidence and the current law,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement. “The work of Police Officers is critical to the health, safety, and well-being of our communities. Their job is one of the most demanding in our society, especially in these current challenging times. They are sworn to uphold and enforce the laws.”
“It was not reasonable to conclude Mr. Taylor posed an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury to Officer Fletcher or to anyone else in the store,” a DA's statement continues.