Trending Topics

San Leandro Officer Charged with Manslaughter for Fatally Shooting Black Man In Midst of Mental Health Crisis At California Walmart

A San Leandro police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a Black man at a Northern California Walmart in April.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley said on Wednesday that Officer Jason Fletcher would be charged with involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Steven Taylor earlier this year.

Taylor, a 33-year-old father of three, was waving a bat in a Northern California Walmart when he was shot in the upper torso. Fletcher and another officer responded to a report that Taylor was attempting to steal from the store. One officer discharged a Taser, but after Taylor continued to walk toward them, Fletcher fired a single shot, striking him in the chest. The other officer then tased Taylor a second time.

Steven Taylor with one of his daughters, circa 2010. (Photo: Taylor family photo)

Taylor was handcuffed as he bled out in front of multiple shoppers. He died at the scene. The DA’s office said that less than 40 seconds passed from the time Fletcher entered the store to when he shot Taylor.

“A thorough review of the statements of witnesses and involved police officers, physical evidence and the review of multiple videos of the shooting shows that at the time of the shooting 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,” said O’Malley.

“I believe Officer Fletcher’s actions, coupled with his failure to attempt other de-escalation options rendered his use of deadly force unreasonable and a violation of Penal Code Section 192(a), Voluntary Manslaughter.”

Taylor’s family said they were not notified of his death until they saw it on the news and on social media. His grandmother called the coroner’s office three times to inquire about her grandson’s involvement in the shooting. Taylor’s mother was not contacted by the coroners who confirmed his death until the following afternoon.

San Leandro Officer Jason Fletcher.

Lee Merritt, the family’s attorney, said Taylor was suffering a mental health crisis at the time of the shooting. He believes the officers were “poorly trained to deal with individuals suffering from a mental health crisis.”

Fletcher is expected to be arraigned in court on September 15.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Back to top