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Family says victim was not armed when officer shot him

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014 9:45 a.m. MDT

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USAlover
Salt Lake City, UT

Before this turns into a Trayvon Martin/Mike Brown discussion, let's be clear. If you waive a gun at police in a public area and actually fire a the gun, you are going to be shot by the police. Is that idea so difficult to understand. In fact, let's teach that to our kids. It's simple: Shoot a gun at police and you will be shot by police. Now, repeat it three times.

Thank you law enforcement for protecting and serving our community.

Fitz
Murray, UT

First, to USAlover, there is no indication in this article that this man had a gun. In fact the only information provided is that of his friends who said he did not have a gun.

While belligerence is not the best way to talk to a cop, it still falls within 'we the people's' 1st Amendment rights. While we should be polite, there is no law that I am aware of that says we can't be belligerent to a cop. That is clearly not grounds to shoot, or even arrest, someone.

There is a lot more to this story, which will, hopefully, eventually come out. Whether or not his the whole truth is a different issue, we must remember that the proverbial 'blue wall" clouds truth.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Fitz; while I believe you are correct about the 'blue wall' clouding the truth, I feel that sometimes the media will sensationalize the story for the sake of sales. also, it's hard to be impartial in the amount of space they are allowed. so media may corrupt the story either intentionally or unintentionally and do as much damage as the 'blue wall'.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

@ Fitz

You're right, people do have their 1st Amendment rights. However, lets understand what that is. It is not just freedom to say whatever you want. The 1st Amendment rights are actually not to have your freedom of speech abridged/shortened. When the police say you will be given a chance to share your side, you will be. But don't be belligerent. To say the victim in this case was belligerent to a cop. We are required to follow and respect the law. The Police is the law. When an officer arrives at a scene or incident, they becomes the law. So yes, there is a law that says we cannot be belligerent to a cop. It just depends on how far the police officer is going to allow you to push it. This law is called obstruction of justice. Being belligerent falls under this law.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

With regards to the situation. Do we have police officers who abuse their power. Yes we do! However, if a police officer ask you to stop and talk with him, there is no reason to get all huffy puffy/belligerent. Just go talk to the cop. If you have nothing to hide, why become a chump. If you have nothing to hide, it is going to take a few minutes and then you are on your way. We ask these men in uniform to go out and keep our streets safe. So the best way to make them feel safe themselves, where they may no have to pull a gun, is to respect them and their authority. If all is good in the hood, everyone goes home unharmed. We don't know the full story of this, was the police officer unjustified in his actions. Maybe, Maybe Not? But if the guy who is dead now would have not been so belligerent, we would probably be commenting on an arrest or just an incident where everyone went home safely today. My opinion, not the cops fault, this is the person who wanted to be above the laws fault.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Fitz,

Did you even read the first line of the article?

"Officers who shot and killed a man Monday night were responding to a call of a man "waving a gun around," investigators said Tuesday"

That indicates there may have been a gun. Proof? No, just as its not proof when his friends say he didn't have a gun.

But seriously, did you not read the first line of the article?

Want to try again?

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

What is difference with the community response between St Louis and South Salt Lake. Did not both of them involve police shooting of unarmed young men?

Why the big delay in announcing if he was armed or not. If he was armed and he was shot and killed shouldn't the gun be there beside his body?

roberto
Moses Lake, WA

Sounds like the kid was out of control and got what he was expecting. There should be no surprises here.

Hey It's Me
Salt Lake City, UT

By the comments on his facebook page. . he was looking to die. Did he reach for his waistband knowing the police might think he was going for a gun and would shoot him. He said he wanted to die and he knew a warrant was out for him.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My thoughts and prayers are with the law enforcement officer who is serving and protecting all of society. He cannot be happy about these events. Sim Gill will do a thorough investigation, and has no hesitation to charge cops if there is the slightest hint of wrongdoing.

However, the dead man himself wrote "...ill die before I go do a lot of time in a cell,"
so he got what he expected, and certainly was in a frame of mind to know that he was likely to encounter cops and had ample time to plan his strategy on how to deal with the situation. Given his past record of crimes, convictions, and threats of cold blooded violence against others he was no innocent child. Troubled, yes.

I'll stand with the cops, and the dead man's family on this one.

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

The police are in a difficult situation here.

They have a report of a man waving a gun around...so when they show up what information are they operating under? An armed man. They try to give the guy instructions and he is argumentative and potentially ignoring their commands and then reaches toward his waistband.

So, should the cops wait for him to pull the gun and start firing potentially injuring the police or innocent bystanders?

Then we are 2nd guessing the police for not acting sooner.

This guy admitted on his own Facebook page he was essentially never going to jail which translated means he was not surrendering to police.

Unfortunate someone died here but lets be reasonable before we blame police. That being said there are police that make incorrect decisions but if you are facing a potential gunman and you want to go home to your family that night...it might be easy to make an impulsive decision.

It is also interesting that when a white young man is shot (potentially unarmed) that SLC did not use it as an excuse to loot the town.

Fascinating isn't it?

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

We need to know all the facts. For instance, who called in about a man, that fits description of the person who was gunned down by police, and said that he was waving around a gun?

This looks bad for police right now.

I mean, let's say theoretically that you are a rival of someone that wants you killed,
All they have to do is call police and say description of you and maybe falsely claim that they you were brandishing a firearm and the police will do the rest? .... not good.

CA. reader
Rocklin, CA

Issuing ultimatums can backfire if you are not careful.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

"While I'm disturbed by the use of deadly force while other non-lethal tools are available to law enforcement, it's difficult for anyone to judge the actions taken by police in a split-second, life-or-death situation. I hope everyone will withhold judgment about Dillon and the police officers' actions until a full investigation is completed."

Excellent advice from a family member of Dillon Taylor.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Yes, we should withhold judgment until the district attorney investigates this and if and when it gets to court. The best witnesses will be the two men who accompanied the victim.

By the way, "belligerent" is a broad term used by law enforcement that creates the feeling of a suspect being aggressive toward police when in reality the suspect may simply have exercised a free speech right to voice his opinion about officers and their parentage.

I think the headline to this story was very slanted against the victim.

Jack
Aurora, CO

Here we go again, all the authorities of how police should have done this or that differently. Somehow the concept that this isn't like you see on TV escapes them. TV shows are not reality, folks. This is a very preliminary report, trying to fill pages and not really giving an idea of what evidence is available in the case. It isn't TV, so it doesn't get solved in a n hour. Let the proper investigation proceed before you light the torches and sharpen your pitchforks.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

I agree with the statements that express that we should wait for evidence and not jump to conclusions on either side of this issue. I often wonder, though, how bad and how safe are our jails when people would rather die than be incarcerated?

neece
Logan, UT

I worked for the police, sheriffs in California, I was able to go on a lot of "ride-a-longs" Most people who have nothing better to do than criticize police I think need to go on one. The world has changed so drastically that you have no idea the danger police are put in. I am amazed when family cries for justice for their loved one, however tend to forget that their loved one was robbing a convenience store or person, running from the police, non-compliant with police orders.... Really? Aren't we forgetting something? They are committing a crime!!! He had headphones on... ok you can't see the several police cars with lights going off and men in a uniform surrounding you? Ummm how about putting your hands up first? I am willing to bet a year's pay that you will be so happy to see them when it is you or your loved ones are in trouble and need those same officers!

surferlou
Albuquerque, NM

I have lived all over the country, including ten years in Utah. I've had encounters with the police for various traffic infractions. Each and every interaction was professional, courteous, and over in a few minutes. Why? Because I chose to comply with the officers request. Show my license, registration and proof of insurance? Sure, here you go officer. There hasn't been a time that I was pulled over for something that I was innocent. I got caught, and the job of the police officer is to enforce the law People with an over-inflated sense of entitlement don't get this simple concept and choose to curse, berate, yell, scream, or otherwise verbally abuse the police officer who is empowered to do whatever it takes to make you comply with his commands. Up to and including deadly force. So it's really in your best interest to comply, politely and it will all be over in minutes. If you think the police officer was abusive or unprofessional, there are channels to lodge a complaint...after the fact. It's not that hard.

DHuber
Palmyra, NY

Robbing stores and threatening to shoot people? Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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