Fresno Police Release Body Cam Footage Of Officers Fatally Shooting Unarmed Teen
Fresno police have released the body cam footage showing the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Dylan Noble. Noble was shot by police on the afternoon of Saturday, June 25 after they attempted to pull him over for allegedly squealing his truck's tires in a field near the border of Clovis and Fresno. Noble drove to a nearby gas station, which is where the fatal encounter occurred. Police had been responding to reports of a man walking with a rifle in the area, but Noble turned out to be unarmed.
The incident was captured by a witness using his cellphone and appears to show officers shooting Noble twice, then twice more when he's already on the ground. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the body cam footage would show a clearer picture of what happened, and now, we have access to that too, the Guardian reports.
(Warning: the video is very graphic.)
In the video, you can see an officer approaching Noble's truck with his gun drawn. During a press conference, Dyer said that the officer pulled his gun believing that Noble could be armed, or could be related to the call about a man with a rifle that led him to find Noble in the first place.
You can hear the officer ordering Noble to show him both of his hands. Noble starts to get out of the truck, then is told not to. He ultimately gets out of the truck with his left hand clearly visible and his right at his side. He moves towards police, who continue to yell commands at him, including to get on the ground and "drop whatever you have in your hand."
Dyer said that prior to Noble getting out of the truck, "an off-duty sergeant from the Fresno County Sheriff's Department was at the Chevron station standing at the gas pumps directly east of the truck and watched the entire incident unfold. At one point, the sergeant, according to his statement to investigators, retrieved his handgun and also pointed it at Noble. As according to the Sergeant, Noble was not complying with the commands given and at one point, reached over into the glove box and placed something in his hand, which he relayed to the officers on scene."
Noble would prove later to be unarmed. No weapon would be found in his truck. The object Noble had in his had was apparently a clear piece of plastic, 4-inch-by-4-inch with a gray clay inside. That object is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the Fresno Bee.
Officers continue to shout commands at Noble, who moves both away from and towards the officers at various moments. At about the 3:59 mark, Noble can be heard saying he hates his life as he moves towards officers. They then shoot Noble, twice, who drops to the ground, then rolls over. He is lying face-up when he is shot a third time as officers yell at him to quit reaching for some unknown object they presume he has. An officer tells Noble that, "If you reach one more time, you will get shot again."
At this point, Noble has been shot three times. About 15 seconds later, he is shot for the fourth and final time.
The shooting is under investigation by internal affairs, who will determine if the shooting was within policy, and the DA's office, who will determine if the officers should face charges, according to CNN. Dyer said the investigation will look into each shot individually to determine if they were based on reasonable fear, if they were necessary or if other non-lethal options could have been used. Dyer also told a reporter that they would investigate the possibility that Noble was reaching for his wounds, not his waistband, prior to being shot the last two times.
"Were the last two rounds fired by the officers necessary?" Dyer said. "Based on reasonable fear, did the officers have to use deadly force? I do not have the answer to that today," he said. He admitted that the video was "extremely disturbing."
You can watch the entire police conference with Dyer here. This video is also disturbing, as Dyer walks the press through the video.
Noble's father, Darren Noble, called the police "trigger-happy." He had previously said he believes his son was murdered and wants the officers who shot him to go to jail. Darren Noble's attorney, Warren Paboojian, said his client will file a claim on Wednesday. Noble's mother, Veronica Nelson, filed a claim against the city on Monday.
Noble's friends have said he was a happy person with a steady job in construction, plans to attend college and a girlfriend he intended to marry. They don't believe he hated his life and was more likely responding to the stressful situation. They also said he probably didn't pull over immediately and instead drove to the gas station because the wheels on his truck put him up too high to have an ordinary interaction with police via his driver's side window.
It is not clear if Noble was operating under the influence or drugs or alcohol, but there will be a toxicology screening performed. Paboojian said, "People are going to question Dylan’s conduct of why he did certain things. The officers never gave Dylan an explanation or a chance to speak. The officers never, in those 30 commandments that Jerry Dyer indicated, did they ask him, 'Do you have a gun?' All they were doing was telling a young boy who may have been under the influence of some alcohol to do a bunch of commands for a routine traffic stop.”