By Jordan Freiman
A police officer in San Leandro, California, has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a Black man wielding a baseball bat inside a Walmart, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced Wednesday. Officer Jason Fletcher shot and killed 33-year-old Steven Demarco Taylor on April 18.
“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 in a press conference. “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.”