Body camera video footage that shows the fatal shooting of unarmed 19-year-old Dylan Noble in Fresno, California, was released on Wednesday, sparking an outpour of questions after an officer is seen shooting the teen while he lay injured on the ground.
New York Daily News reports that Noble was shot to death on June 25, after reportedly reaching into his waistband two times while police yelled at him to keep his hands up. According to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Noble failed to follow orders, which made the officers feel threatened.
The incident occurred after the officers pulled Noble over in his black pickup truck, suspecting he had a rifle. Shortly before they tailed his truck, the police received a call from a female who said she saw a man walking with a rifle in his hand along Clinton and Clovis avenues. When the officers arrived at the area, they saw Noble driving his truck and attempted to pull him over.
The video depicts that Noble didn’t stop immediately but eventually pulled over at the Chevron gas station at Shields and Armstrong, about a half of a mile later. Once Noble got out of his truck, he started walking away, then turned around toward the officers while they screamed at him to get his hands up and to get on the ground.
When Noble refused, an officer fired two rounds, hitting the teen in the abdomen. He immediately fell to the ground. What’s questionable to many, however, is why the officer then fired two more rounds at Noble, who was clearly incapacitated. The officers are heard in the background saying that Noble was again reaching for his waistband, which prompted yet another shot, fatally wounding Noble.
According to Dyer, the officers, who have yet to be identified, gave Noble at least 30 commands that he didn’t abide by before they shot him. He also stated that Noble continued to put his hand in his waistband while on the ground. Yet, the Police Chief did indicate that he isn’t taking the situation lightly and will ultimately make an appropriate decision for the investigation.
“You will see in the video that Mr. Noble continued moving his hands while on the ground. I will make the right decision for this city, and the right decision for the officers involved.”
Meanwhile, Noble’s mother, Veronica Nelson, filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno, claiming that the officers involved used excessive force. The family’s attorney, Stuart Chandler, released a statement, detailing how and why the lawsuit came about.
“The officers never had an objectively reasonable basis to shoot Dylan Noble. At no time did they use or attempt to use their K-9. At no time did they use or attempt to use a Taser. At no time did they use or attempt to use anything but deadly force.”
Chandler also indicated that an officer fired the first two shots within only a minute of pulling Noble over. Within around 30 seconds, the officer fired the next shot, while Noble lay bleeding on the ground from the first gunfire. Within 15 seconds, another officer dealt a fatal shot to Noble.
The lawsuit also indicated that when the female called in to report a man carrying a rifle, she said he was wearing a camouflage jacket. Noble did not match the description.
Both officers, according to Dyer, are veterans on the police force. Their names are being withheld after numerous threats appeared against them online. A few days after the incident, a group of people gathered in Fresno, holding White Lives Matter signs and Confederate flags, in protest of the officers involved in the shooting. The officers are on paid leave while the incident is being investigated.
Numerous people have gathered to support Dylan Noble and his family. He was unarmed when the incident occurred.
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