Footage has emerged depicting 19 year old Dylan Noble of Fresno, California being fatally shot by Fresno police officers while lying on the ground outside of a gas station. The footage captured the final 2 shots. According to Police Chief Jerry Dyer, the officers involved believed that Noble was armed and about to open fire, but it has since been disclosed that he was not armed.
The short video appears to show Dylan Noble lying on the ground with his head towards the officers as they commanded him to put his hands up. Noble responded “I’ve been shot,” and after several seconds, was shot with a shotgun.
The officers were wearing body cameras, but the footage will not be released until an investigation has been completed by the Office of the Attorney General.
The Fresno Police Department stated that the officers involved were responding to a report of a man carrying a rifle, and pursued a speeding pickup truck which did not pull over immediately and instead stopped at a gas station.
The LA Times reported several statements from Fresno police officers who were involved. Lt. Burke Farrah stated that Noble did not respond to an officer’s request to raise his hands, and kept one hand behind his back.
Noble died in surgery at a local hospital.
Local public response to the shooting took a bizarre turn when friends of the victim took to the streets promoting the slogan “White Lives Matter,” some of which carried confederate flags. According to one of Noble’s friends, the slogan was not meant to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement, but was instead a plea for Dylan’s death to be met with equal outrage to the shootings and murders in which “Black Lives Matter” applies.
Dylan Noble is one of more than 500 people killed by police in 2016. Movements such as Black Lives Matter have opened public dialog and raised awareness for the victims of police brutality and excessive force. This has become an issue that the public wants to talk about. Sadly, civil discourse on the topic of wrongful police shootings is difficult to find, as pundits and activists often cling to polarized sides of the argument. As each “Lives Matter” movement receives criticism and disdain from others, it seems as though the public has forgotten that individuals are accountable for their own actions. There are bad people in the world, and they come in all colors and occupations. Most people will never be shot at by the police, and most police will never shoot anyone.
Each wrongful death is a tragedy, and tragedies are often dissected and exploited. It’s high time that the discussion return to the question of “How can we fix this?” rather than quarreling only over “Who shall we blame?”