Seattle Police Shooting Was 'Cold-Blooded Murder,' NAACP Head Says
Emotions running high, about 100 people gathered at the site of the shooting in Northeast Seattle last night.
Che Taylor, 47, was shot by police in the Wedgwood neighborhood, in the 2200 block of Northeast 85th Street.
They heard prayers, memories and anguish from Che Taylor's mother, Joyce.
"My heart is broke, that was my baby, that was my love,” she said. “We did everything together. So we've come to fight; he's got some warriors."
To her family and the Seattle-King County chapter of the NAACP, Taylor's death resembles the cases that prompted the Black Lives Matter movement.
Gerald Hankerson, president of the local NAACP chapter called it "cold-blooded murder."
“Let me repeat: cold-blooded murder, executed by Seattle Police Department on Sunday morning,” he said.
The Seattle Police Department has started an investigation, and now the NAACP wants its own.
Taylor was a convicted felon who wasn't allowed to carry a firearm, but police say he was seen with a gun Sunday. Taylor’s criminal history included convictions for assault, robbery and rape.
The controversy in this case comes down to what the dash-cam video shows.
The Seattle Police Department has released one minute of that video.
Officers were attempting to arrest Taylor and approached a car he was standing by, then ordered him to show his hands and get on the ground.
Police and a civilian witness say Taylor appeared to be reaching for a gun when officers shot him in the Wedgwood neighborhood. A police dash cam video shows officers approaching Taylor as he stands behind a white car.
Local NAACP President Gerald Hankerson says he sees a different story in the video.
"I saw Mr. Taylor put his hands in the air, and then, 'Get down, put your hands up, get down, put your hands up', but he complied [with] exactly what the officers told him to do,” Hankerson said. “The next part is when the fires were shot, is where now the police are saying that he reached for a weapon."
In the video, a car obstructs the view of Taylor's specific movements.
The police department has placed the officers involved on paid administrative leave.
The department says officers recovered a firearm from Taylor, and that when he arrived at Harborview Medical Center, he was carrying approximately 6 ounces of narcotics.
Meanwhile, family members like Taylor's sister Davitta Briscoe are grieving.
"He spent his time with his family,” Briscoe said. “I have pictures of my brother coming to my daughter's birthday parties and skating with them."
Organizers planned a ralloy outside of the police headquarters on Thursday.
Warning: video contains violent images.
Correction 2/24/2016: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the address of where the shooting took place.