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A White officer is charged in the fatal shooting of a Black man under California's tougher deadly-force law

September 3, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A White officer has been charged with felony manslaughter in the fatal shooting in April of a Black man in a Walmart store, a crime alleged under a newly strengthened California law that requires police to use deadly force only when needed to defend human life, the county prosecutor said.

(CNN)A White officer has been charged with felony manslaughter in the fatal shooting in April of a Black man in a Walmart store, a crime alleged under a newly strengthened California law that requires police to use deadly force only when needed to defend human life, the county prosecutor said.

San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher, 49, was charged Wednesday with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Steven Taylor, 33, after the pair scuffled over a baseball bat inside the store in the Northern California city, according to officials and court documents.

During the San Leandro confrontation, Taylor did not pose an immediate threat to police when Fletcher shot him to death, prosecutors determined, said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Fletcher didn't wait for his cover officer before heading over to Taylor in the shopping cart area, the police document reads.

"Officer Fletcher told Mr. Taylor to 'drop the bat man, drop the bat,'" the probable cause declaration states.

A review of statements from witnesses and the officers involved, as well as a review of multiple videos 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," a DA's statement reads.

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