Video: Fresno Police Shoot And Kill Unarmed Teenager
A 19-year-old unarmed man was shot and killed by Fresno police, and cellphone video shows officers shooting him twice after he was already on the ground. On Saturday, June 25, at about 3:40 p.m., police received a report of a man walking near Clinton and Clovis streets, carrying a rifle, the Fresno Bee reports. When they arrived to the area, they spotted a pickup truck squealing its tires in a field near the border of Frenso and Clovis. Police claimed they attempted to pull the driver, 19-year-old Dylan Noble, over, but that he instead drove to a Chevron station located less than a mile away.
Deputy Chief Pat Farmer said that responding officers asked Noble to show his hands, but that he "would only show officers one hand at a time and kept one hand hidden during the contact," according to the Daily Beast.
He said Noble told officers he "hated his life and made affirmative movement to the small of his back at which time he was shot several times by officers at the scene."
Noble was shot four times. He was unarmed, had no weapons in his vehicle, and has no criminal history.
While the police have yet to release the footage from the officers' body cameras, a witness managed to record the incident via a cellphone. The video was obtained by the Fresno Bee.
The 26-second video does not show the beginning of the incident, as it begins after the first two shots were fired. Noble is lying on the ground, face-up, when an officer fires a third shot at him. You can hear the officers telling Noble to put his hands up, and Noble saying, "I've been shot."
Fourteen second pass before an officer fires again.
One of the officers had been on the force for 20 years, the other 17. Police Chief Jerry Dyer claims that the video does not show that Noble was pulling up his shirt with his left hand and reaching for his waistband with his right. He said the final shot occurred after Dylan reached into his waistband again, and claims that the officers' body cameras paint a fuller picture. This footage, however, will not be released until after the District Attorney's Office is done investigating the incident.
Noble's friends don't believe this account, saying he was a happy person who would not have said he hated his life. They believe he most likely pulled into the Chevron station because his modified pickup truck put the cab up too high to have an ordinary encounter with police, or because he was at first unaware they were trying to pull him over. They also believe it's much more likely that Noble was reaching for his wallet, if anything, and had probably said, "fuck my life" in regards to being pulled over by police.
Noble's father, Darren Noble, has seen the video and wants justice for his son.
"It shows how my son was my murdered," he told The Guardian. "Nothing is going to bring my son back. But I want those cops to pay. I want them to go to jail for murder."
Dylan's friends have been hosting vigils at the gas station where the teen died. They said Noble had a job in construction and loved music and DJing. He had a girlfriend who, according to the woman's grandmother, Gail Rowell, he planned to marry. Rowell said he was also scheduled begin taking classes at Fresno City College this fall, and was "not depressed, not belligerent and not dangerous."
At a recent vigil, protestors carried a Confederate flag and "White Lives Matter" signs, which was immediately denounced as racist, considering the flag's history and the tone-deaf reference to the "Black Lives Matter" movement. One of the protesters, Justin Horton, 19, told the Guardian that the Confederate Flag was misinterpreted.
"There's a lot of people who see it as the rebel flag. We just like to be outside and outdoors. We're not trying to be white supremacists."
Noble's shooting preceded a recent pair of shootings in which two black men were shot and killed by police.
Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by police on Tuesday while selling CDs outside of a convenience store in Baton Rouge. Sterling was carrying a gun, which friends say he kept for personal protection. The Sterling family's attorney says video taken of the incident shows Sterling was pinned on the ground and not trying to retrieve his weapon at the time he was shot. It was later revealed a homeless man had called the police on Sterling after he repeatedly asked Sterling for money and Sterling allegedly responded by flashing his gun and telling the man to leave him alone.
Philando Castile, 32, was shot and killed by police on Wednesday during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Police pulled him over to tell him he had a tail light out. Castile told the officers he has a legal and registered gun owner and was reaching for his wallet in order to show them his ID when officers shot him several times. Castile's girlfriend, who was in the car with her 7-year-old daughter, recorded the aftermath of the shooting with her phone.