In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, a similar case involving an unarmed white man is creating even more controversy.
Back in August, Dillon Taylor, a white man, was shot and killed by a “non-white” police officer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reports say that Taylor refused to obey police and that Officer Bon Cruz shot fatally shot Taylor as a result. Officer Cruz allegedly believed that Taylor had a weapon and would try to use it, but as it was soon discovered, he was completely unarmed.
Ultimately, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Cruz for the killing, and many note the striking similarities between Michael Brown’s case and Dillon Taylor’s case. What sets them apart, however, is that Officer Cruz was wearing a body cam when he shot Taylor, and since it’s been released to the public, people are able to see exactly what happened leading up to Taylor’s death.
In the clip, Officer Cruz repeatedly asks Taylor to raise his hands, but each time, he refuses. At one point, Taylor can be heard saying, “Nah, fool.” Right before the actual shooting occurred, Officer Cruz reportedly believed that Taylor was reaching for a weapon.
“Taylor quickly raised his left hand from inside his waistband, lifted his shirt level with his armpit and quickly brought out his right hand,” reports WREG. “At that time Officer Cruz shot Taylor twice.”
Tests show that Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .18 percent, which is high above the legal limit, and officials believe he may have been suicidal around the time of the incident based on some social media posts, like the one below, in which he predicted his own death.
Now that the grand jury has ultimately decided not to indict Officer Cruz for Taylor’s death, protests in Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and other cities across the nation are putting focus on both Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor’s cases.