SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KRON) – A deadly officer involved shooting at a San Leandro Walmart is sparking outrage within the civil rights community.
Police say officers shot the man Saturday after he threatened them with a baseball bat but one group claims the man was executed.
Police say videos of the shooting shared on social media do not show the whole story.
They’re hoping to clear the air within the community but the family and civil rights groups say this man’s killing was racially charged.
“Protecting the sanctity of life is extremely important,” an officer said.
In an effort to dispel rumors, San Leandro police are speaking out about a deadly weekend shooting at a Walmart.
In videos of the shooting shared on social media, the man identified as 33-year-old Steven Taylor is seen wielding a baseball bat before being shot and killed by an officer.
“What we saw was a black man die unnecessarily at the hands of law enforcement,” James Burch said.
James Burch is with the Anti-Police Terror Project.
He says the officer unlawfully killed Taylor who was likely suffering from some sort of mental lapse.
“What I saw in that video was a person in crisis and I would expect that any person who is in crisis would be dealt with with compassion,” Burch said.
Police say officers tried tazing Taylor but he approached them with the bat, forcing one officer to pull the trigger.
“Our officer discharged his service weapon one time striking the subject in the front of his upper body,” the officer said.
A civil rights attorney representing the family says the use of deadly force was excessive.
They believe the videos captured by people in the store is sufficient evidence for arresting the officer.
“Steven Taylor did not need to die. The officer had alternatives he could’ve taken but instead he chose to take Steven Taylor’s life and we’re outraged,” Burch said.
San Leandro police plan to release body cam video of Saturday’s shooting as a way to be transparent in this investigation.
The mayor is calling for patience as the investigation continues.
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