SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KRON) — The family of a man who was killed by San Leandro police in 2020 filed a lawsuit on April 15 against the officers involved in his death and the City of San Leandro. Steven Taylor, a Black man, was shot and killed inside a Walmart on April 18, 2020.
The lawsuit names ex-officer Jason Fletcher, who shot Taylor, and officer Stefan Overton, who the lawsuit says repeatedly tased Taylor. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $10 million.
Video of the incident showed Taylor wielding a baseball bat when he was shot and killed by Fletcher. San Leandro Police determined Taylor did not pose a threat at the time he was shot. Fletcher was charged with voluntary manslaughter in 2021 and is no longer with the police department.
The lawsuit said Fletcher recognized that Taylor was suffering a mental health episode, but “took no steps to accommodate Taylor or modify the tactics he employed.” Taylor was shot and tased less than 40 seconds after Fletcher entered the Walmart, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also said that there was a pattern of San Leandro officers shooting unarmed citizens, and the city did nothing to rectify it. The city did not adequately train officers in how to accommodate people dealing with a mental health crisis, the suit alleged.
The city released a statement Tuesday saying it intends to defend itself against the lawsuit. It said Taylor’s death led to significant changes in the San Leandro Police Department’s use of force policies and training.