MSNBC and several disreputable blogs are pushing recently released body camera footage of the shooting of Dillon Taylor, a very depressed young man who decided to commit “suicide-by-cop” in Salt Lake City on August 11, 2014.
Here is how MSNBC is attempting to spin the video to gin up more anti-law enforcement sentiment.
A video posted to YouTube Sunday* may raise new questions about the 2014 fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Twenty-year-old Dillon Taylor was fatally shot by Salt Lake City police officer Bron Cruz on August 11, 2014, just one week after the controversial police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Like Brown, Taylor did not have a weapon on him at the time. Still, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled in September that Cruz had reason to believe Taylor was attempting to pull a gun from his pants, effectively exonerating Cruz of any wrongdoing in the incident.
But a newly posted YouTube video may cast doubt on Gill’s decision. In it, Cruz can be seen exiting his vehicle and walking behind Taylor. Cruz draws his gun and yells at Taylor, who turns around, and with his hands near his waistband, does not immediately respond. Then, Cruz shoots Taylor.
According to KSL-TV, Gill says Taylor actively refused to comply with Cruz’s instruction to put his hands up. Taylor’s family, meanwhile, insists he simply did not hear Cruz because of the headphones in his ears, which, they say, were playing music. Under the law, a police officer is permitted to use deadly force if he perceives an imminent threat to his life.
You can review the body camera footage of the shooting if you so desire, but I’ll warn you in advance that the video is incredibly graphic and disturbing, and it doesn’t change the facts of the incident in the slightest.
Let’s be blunt: MSNBC and the other disreputable blogs are promoting the lie—the abject, intentional mistruth—that Dillon Taylor wasn’t aware of the police, that he didn’t respond, and that he didn’t do anything to cause officer Cruz to fire his weapon.
The fact of the matter is that a very depressed Dillon Taylor knew exactly what he was doing, and ensured that officer had no choice but to fire on him in self-defense.
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