NAACP calls SPD shooting ‘cold blooded murder'

Updated:

Members of the Seattle-King County chapter of the NAACP said they demand justice in the death of a man fatally shot by Seattle police.

During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, outraged chapter president Gerald Hankerson announced the group hired a law firm to investigate the death of Marvin Hunter, who also went by the name Che Taylor.

Hunter was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
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Hankerson describes the shooting as an “execution” and “cold-blooded murder.”  

Police said officers fired after Taylor reached for a handgun. Because he was a felon from prior convictions, Taylor was prohibited from possessing a gun. He was convicted of rape, assault and robbery.  

Hankerson contends officers may have planted gun and drug evidence, and demands the release of extended footage from dash cam footage from the scene.

Here are the facts KIRO 7 News has reported since Sunday’s shooting.

1. Police identified Hunter (aka Taylor) as a convicted felon when they were working an undercover drug operation.

The Associated Press reports that when an officer approached his vehicle to take Hunter into custody, he did not obey their commands to show his hands and get on the ground. 

Officers and a civilian witness say he reached for his handgun and officers fired on him.

Police said in an arrest report that was “clearly armed.” At the scene on Sunday, a department spokesman said he "believed he was armed.”

2. Hunter was reportedly carrying drugs.

Hunter was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died. Police say he was carrying crack cocaine and black tar heroin.

Hunter was in prison for 22 years for robbery, rape, illegal possession of a firearm, assault, and drug possession and delivery.

On Sunday, he was carrying approximately 6 ounces of suspected crack cocaine and black tar heroin, investigators said.

Officers booked one of the other people in the vehicle into the King County Jail for possession of a significant quantity of suspected heroin.

3. Family called Taylor a kind and generous man, who says he "had too much to lose to draw a gun on a police officer."

"His heart was big as this city here man," said a friend of Taylor. "He would give the shirt off his back if you came to him and told him you were hungry. He was going to feed you, and give you a few dollars, that's the truth!"

His family calls him "Che T."

In Tuesday's news conference, Taylor's sister and brother spoke, saying he was loving and spent his time with his family. 

"I know my brother spent time in prison, " his sister said. "He loves his family and he protected us." 

 

The family and NAACP is asking police to treat this death as that of a man, not a felon. 

4. SPD released dash-cam video leading up to the fatal shooting.

The dash-cam video was taken from an officer's vehicle when undercover officers called for uniformed police backup, to make the arrest.

From the time police told Hunter to put his hands up to when they opened fire was in the time of about six seconds.

Hunter’s brother, André, posted a video on Facebook telling officers “I guarantee retribution is coming to your door.”

“It won’t be by my hands,” André said. “But I promise you by the hand of the almighty God, you, you and your country and your system will fall.”

He also says in the video that officers train to shoot to kill, “especially if it’s a black man.” He calls officers “human animals.” 

5. A neighbor raised questions about how the incident was handled. Another neighbor said Taylor reached for his handgun, according to police.

"Me and my granddaughter were doing laundry and we came from around the corner and I heard like six shots,” a neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said.

"I didn't hear them say ‘Get out of the car.’ I didn't hear them say any kinds of commands or anything before the shots rang out,” the unidentified neighbor said.

The dashcam video released by police includes audio from officers shouting commands to get on the ground. There are also repeated "hands up" commands.

"According to officers, as well as a civilian witness interviewed by investigators, Taylor reached for his handgun, leading officers to fire," according to a department statement

6. The Seattle Police Department says the officers involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, per department policy.

“Officers have to make split-second decisions,” Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a news briefing on Monday. “They are trained to aim toward center mass and they did from what I understand what they were trained to do, but again, this is an ongoing investigation.”

O'Toole said this investigation, including the dash cam video, is being overseen by the Department of Justice.

On Tuesday night, The Associated Press identified the two officers who fired their weapons were identified Tuesday as Michael Spaulding and Scott Miller. Both were hired in 2008 and are now on paid leave.

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