San Leandro Walmart shooting: Victim's grandmother speaks out after officer charged with voluntary manslaughter

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Friday, September 4, 2020
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The grandmother of Steven Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in a San Leandro Walmart, is speaking out after charges were filed against the officer.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- Wednesday we learned that the Alameda County District Attorney has filed a criminal charge of voluntary manslaughter against the officer who shot and killed Steven Taylor inside a San Leandro Walmart.

"I'm struggling I've made some arrangements to do some grief counseling," says Taylor's Grandmother Addie Kitchen.

RELATED: Officer charged in fatal shooting of man at San Leandro Walmart, police say

She is referring to what it's been like since her grandson was shot by Officer Jason Fletcher inside a San Leandro Walmart.

She learned Wednesday, almost five months after the incident, that the district attorney has charged Officer Fletcher with voluntary manslaughter.

"I was surprised, shocked, kinda threw me off my balance a little because we had not talked to DA O'Malley," says Kitchen.

VIDEO: Family of San Leandro man killed by officer inside Walmart demands justice

During the investigation, police released cell phone video that shows Officer Fletcher trying to get Taylor to drop a baseball bat that he had been swinging. Taylor refused to do so, jumped back, and was Tased.

Officer Fletcher then fired what would prove to be a fatal shot moments later.

Legal analyst Steven Clark says it's this part of the video that the jury will closely be looking at.

"Did the officer give the Taser enough time to do its work? Was there too quick a use of deadly force before Mr. Taylor was subdued by the taser? I think that's going to be key here," says Clark.

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"I do not believe he had to murder Steven!" Taylor's grandmother said, pleading her grandson posed no threat.

"If he would have Tased him again before shooting him I think that would have been enough to get him down and subdued. He could have shot him in the leg. He could have shot him in the arm," says Kitchen.

Clark doesn't believe we would have seen the D.A. file a charge like this in years past, but says times have changed and all eyes will be on the outcome of the case.

"So this will be an important test case moving forward whether DA's will be able to get convictions in these situations."

Addie Kitchen tells us that she would like to see the officer off the force, convicted, and see him do jail time for what he did.