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Report: Fatal shooting of Che Taylor within SPD’s policy

Che Taylor, who was shot to death earlier this year in North Seattle after police said he was reaching for a gun, had a handgun that was originally purchased by a former King County sheriff’s deputy, The Seattle Times reports. (SPD)

A review board found the deadly shooting of Che Taylor to be justified, The Seattle Times reports.

The Times says the board found the shooting “within department policy.”

The 46-year-old African American man was shot when two white Seattle cops tried to arrest him as he allegedly tried to reach for a gun. Taylor, a convicted felon, was prohibited from owning a firearm.

Video of the confrontation shows Taylor facing the open passenger door of a vehicle as officers approached him. The gun that police allege he was reaching for was found underneath the passenger seat, according to police.

Taylor’s family has called the shooting unjustified and says they’re not shocked by the review board findings.

Earlier this year, Taylor’s family spoke out against the shooting and called a state law flawed. Taylor’s brother, Andre, said a law that was passed 30 years ago allows police officers to “murder without accountability.” Right now, if a jury believes an officer fired without malice, nearly any shooting in the course of duty is legal.

The NAACP also spoke out against the shooting.

“Obviously, our community is outraged. We have seen the video, we have read all the reports,” said Seattle-King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson. “After looking at the video and seeing all the facts, the Seattle-King County NAACP declare that this is an execution by the Seattle Police Department of a man without giving him due process.”

“This was cold-blooded murder, executed by the Seattle Police Department on Sunday morning,” he said.

An initiative seeking to hold police more accountable was filed in response to the shooting.

The shooting itself wasn’t the only thing to stir up controversy. The gun that Taylor was allegedly reaching for was found to be linked to a former King County Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy was fired last year.

The Seattle City Council decided this week that it will now destroy all handguns that are cycled out of its department.

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