The Salt Lake City police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Dillon Taylor on August 11 was wearing a body camera that recorded the whole tragic encounter, but police say that they will not release the tape until the “appropriate” time, said Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank at a Tuesday press briefing.
“It would be wholly inappropriate to take the most vital piece of evidence that we have and put it out to the public prior to the officer having some due process,” Burbank told reporters.
Taylor was shot dead by a Salt Lake police officer outside a 7-11 convenience store where he had stopped to buy soft drinks accompanied by his brother and a cousin. Police had received a call about a person brandishing a gun in the area, but Taylor’s brother and cousin insist that Dillon was unarmed.
He was shot, they said, because he was listening to music through headphones and failed to hear police commands. The Inquisitr story on the shooting of Dillon Taylor last week can be seen at this link.
Burbank told reporters that he has viewed the video which, he says, includes the lead-up to the shooting as well as the shooting itself. But Burbank refused to say whether the tape showed whether Dillon Taylor had a gun or not. The police chief also declined to offer his views on whether the shooting was justified, based on his viewing of the tape.
The Salt Lake chief said that there is no date for when the tape will be made public, saying it could be weeks or even months before the public is allowed to view the events that ended with the death of the 20-year-old.
Protesters took to the streets on Monday in Salt Lake to demand answers in the police slaying of Dillon Taylor, but Burbank said that the differences between Ferguson, Missouri, where violent protests over the police shooting of Michael Brown have rocked the city for more than a week, and Salt lake City were stark.
“If we show up wearing riot gear it says throw rocks and boulders at us,” said Burbank. “I didn’t send officers out wearing riot gear to talk to the protesters who were out in front of the building yesterday,” said Chief Burbank.
The Monday protest was organized by Scott Simons, whose daughter was slain by a police officer in 2009, in a shooting that was ruled “justified” by police because officers said she was fleeing arrest.
“It’s just crazy — unarmed people getting shot — it’s just wrong, no matter how you slice it,” Simons said. “The police have to be aware that people are starting to be more resistant to this. The whole country is becoming aware of this problem.”
Salt Lake police have said the investigation into the shooting of Dillon Taylor could take up to three more weeks.