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San Leandro Police Execute Black Man in Walmart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 20, 2020 Anti Police-Terror Project Contact:

San Leandro Police Execute Black Man in Walmart

As white nationalists gather across the country wielding assault rifles in protest of public health mandates with no response from police, people of color experiencing apparent mental health crises continue to be shot and killed because of egregious and brutally racist law enforcement practices. The global pandemic is ravaging the mental health of Black communities as they experience sickness and death at an alarming rate. This situation is the dystopian backdrop to the killing of 33-year-old beloved community member Steven Taylor by police in a San Leandro Walmart early Saturday evening.

This officer who killed Mr. Taylor, the only person close to him at the time, had a number of choices in the moments leading to Taylor’s death. But it is abundantly clear in the multiple videos that the officer did not see Steven Taylor’s humanity. Because if the officer had seen Steven Taylor as a human being, Mr. Taylor would still be here today. He did not need to die.

There is another person who has a choice at this moment: District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. In January of this year, new use of force rules came into effect in California after the passage of AB 392. The law now states that law enforcement can only use lethal force when “necessary”. There is no interpretation of the video that we have seen that could be interpreted to consider this officer’s actions necessary. They were objectively unnecessary. And thus outside of the law.

But the laws are only as valuable as the District Attorneys who are elected to enforce them. And Alameda County’s D.A. Nancy O’Malley, who refuses to prosecute police homicides while funding her reelection campaigns with police association dollars, makes this fight a more difficult one.

The question must be asked again, why are police the first responders to mental health crises?

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