SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a Black man inside a Walmart store in April.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced Wednesday that her office has filed the charge against San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher in the killing of Steven Taylor on April 18.
Fletcher had responded to a call about an alleged shoplifter inside the store who was holding a baseball bat.
A 20-year veteran, Fletcher did not wait for backup and instead grabbed the bat from Taylor, shot him with a taser and then with a firearm all in less than 40 seconds, prosecutors said.
“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,” O’Malley said. “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.”
Fletcher is expected to be arraigned Sept. 15.