Vigil held for South Salt Lake man shot, killed by police

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Friends of a 20-year-old shot and killed by police flocked to a Salt Lake City 7-11 Tuesday night for a vigil.

Dillon Taylor was with his brother and cousin Monday night and relatives say no one, including Taylor, was armed when the trio encountered Salt Lake City police.

"I can't believe it. I'm mortified, what's happened here isn't OK," said Josh Siegel, the victim's friend.

Wearing T-shirts saying "RIP" and holding flowers and balloons, more than 70 friends paid their respects to Taylor behind the 7-11 convenience store at 2100 South and State Street.

"He didn't have no gun, it's police brutality and we need to do something to stop this," said Chris Gavaldon.

"He was a kid going into a 7-11 to get a drinks," said Gina Thayne, the victim's aunt.

"We walked out of the 7-11 and next thing we know we're being ambushed by the Salt Lake Police Department," said Jerrail Tanner, the victim's brother.

Three Salt Lake City officers responded to a complaint.

"Officers were looking in that area for a man with a gun, according to the 911 call," said Sgt. Darin Sweeten, South Salt Lake Police Department.

It's unclear if Taylor was their suspect but he matched the description, police say. When the officers confronted the trio, they say two of them complied but Taylor walked away, listening to music on headphones. That's when police shot and killed Taylor. It's unclear what prompted the gunfire or whether Taylor reached for something. Investigators haven't said if the man was armed, but relatives who were with him say he wasn't.

"None of us even had anything. I believe he had a cellphone and it didn't even leave his pocket," Tanner said.

"I see him go to pull his pants up but he didn't go for anything else," said Adam Thayne, the victim's cousin.

"With this being a multi-agency investigation, you have the district attorney's investigators involved, it's just not something that we're ready to release," Sweeten said.

"They said they thought his phone was a gun is what they told my cousin but I don't even think he brought his phone out, his hands were empty," Thayne said

there are still a number of unknowns. Investigators aren't saying how many shots were fired or whether one officer pulled the trigger or all three.

The three officers are on paid administrative leave while South Salt Lake Police are in an unusual position, investigating a neighboring police agency. Salt Lake City Police Department will conduct an internal investigation and the district attorney will determine if he feels the shooting is justified or not.

Meanwhile, court records show Dillon Taylor was wanted for a parole violation and mentioned a possible arrest warrant.

In unsettling posts on Facebook just a few days before the shooting. He said his life hit rock bottom, that he was homeless and thought his life was coming to an end.



    The police identified themselves, this young man walks away and reaches for his waist to pull his pants up instead of listening and complying with the police officers? I’m sorry but all these peoples getting shot by the police are bringing it upon themselves.

    They were searching for a man with a gun, this man didn’t comply and reached for his waist. Same thing with the West Jordan Wal Mart shooting. Dude was wanted for multiple felonies but didn’t comply with police and threatened harm. Same thing with the Williard case. Cops identify themselves, she tries to flee potentially mortally harming both officers, and she ends up shot.

    You people bring this upon yourselves with the decisions you make to put the officers AND CIVILIANS LIVES IN DANGER.

    • Bob

      Amen! It is NOT that hard to simply COMPLY with Police Officers… Today’s society thinks they do not have to listen to authority…

    • teesha

      How did the kid dillon know why the cops were there he didn’t know he had his headphones in so how did he know why the cops were even there he didn’t.

    • k

      Nobody deserves to die. Or had it coming. It’s a trigger happy police officer that has made a horrible horrible mistake. Shooting someone in the back? I know their job is tough. But THEY signed up for this. If anything THEY brought this on themselves. If you can’t responsibly use a firearm as an absolute last resort (which this doesn’t seem to be that) then don’t choose this line of work.

      • Ray Robijnson

        Jason, you are a police officer, you have a family at home you want to see again. You go on a call about a man waiving a gun around and a person matching that description is there and you get out with your gun drawn yelling get to the ground and keep your hands above your head or I will shoot you. You start lowering your hands and are told again, is this officer supposed to wait until he is shot at? No! If I am that officer, I am shooting

    • Jerome Paul Templeton

      If your job is to protect and serve, should you not give a person a change to see what they will do. If he pulled up his paints, that is not a gun. He did not have a gun so there was no danger. The possibility of a weapon exist in every person that does not mean shot first and see if there is a weapon second. Its sickening to see people dying at the hands of their protectors. How about a bullet proof vest they wear, how about lets see a gun, or take him down (teaser pepper spray) not shot to kill every time in every case first thing. Maybe these cops need to learn some MMA. Then they can stop hiding behind their guns and use there hands for more that a gun.

    • DocRockk (@DocRockk)

      I’m sorry but all these peoples getting shot by the police are bringing it upon themselves.
      Im sorry, but that is the most idiotic thing Ive heard on this topic. Seriously. I hope something like this happens to you or a loved one, so you can suffer for your ignorant soulless attitude.
      You just said that an unarmed kid shot and killed by cops brought it on himself!? You’re not much of a deep thinker, are you?

    • C

      Do you all just not read the articles? It stated that he had headphones in. He couldn’t HEAR the police warnings. “Oh gosh guy tried to pull his pants up, he deserved to die”. Did he deserved to be fatally shot for not turning around? NO, he didn’t. Put yourself in his, or his family’s, place! Even if they thought it was a gun, you shoot where the least real harm would come. They shot and killed him: execution on site with no valid proof of danger. Our laws, and our constitution, does not allow that. He matched the description? If he looks like your suspect – and from behind, nonetheless – that’s fine, take him in for questioning. This man just lost his life over a misunderstanding; a family just lost their son. They didn’t bring this on themselves. The police brought it on for them.

      • Lonna Eorio

        Dillian was a Felon who had been to jail and was known to carry weapons. Fox non news is opinionated, you have to look at these denisons as Opinionated Entertainment and cross reference shyt you read on this disengenious network working under the guise as news.

    • Khalid

      There is only one thing that separates human beings from animals; we have the power to reason. How can police execute their practice so aggressively, even before spotting a weapon of some kind on the suspect? There are plenty of occasions where officers have been threatened with a weapon reach gesture of some kind, but do they execute so quickly? If a cop is so sudden with their decision to kill another person, then maybe he shouldn’t be a cop; taking a life is no sudden decision and obviously he wasn’t dealing with billy the kid. Not all situations are hostile, officers need to be situationally aware.

    • mken40

      You want to bring Danielle in on this. Lets go for it. First of all you OBVOUSLY don’t have a clue what you are talking about. If you did you would know that the first thing that comes out from the police are “LIES”. Second you would also know that what comes out after all of the investigations are done is when some of the truth comes out. You were not in Danielle’s Car, You were not at the story where Dillon got shot. You don’t know what happened. As much as we know about Danielle’s case we will still never know the whole truth because the only people that were there were the cops who have lied through this whole investigation. At least with Dillon he had a brother and a cousin with him. Hopefully they will step up and make sure the truth is told. Get this MR C’MON People. There have been so many shootings in Utah that you should know how the game is played now. So back off, Leave the Taylor Family alone. And don’t you dear to know Danielle. Unless you are one of the ones that tried to cover up other police involved shootings.

    • PMT

      “MY WORD IS LAW The officer’s judgment in assuming these three people were the suspects will never be talked about. Their judgment in assuming someone doing EXACTLY what they told him to do was a dangerous action, will never be questioned. In fact, it will be used to justify shooting this person.

  • Question Authority

    The both of you posting are the EXACT reason why Police Departments across this country act the way they do with impunity. You have RIGHTS granted to you by the Constitution of the United States and the Bill Of Rights. These jack boot thugs employed by our tax dollars are OUR servants. Not the other way around. It’s asinine to think there is no other alternative to the use of deadly force. Doesn’t it bother you that these incidents are RAPIDLY turning up in “Everytown, America”? This whole “I’m going to kill you before you kill me, so I can go home at the end of my shift” mentality needs to GO!

    • nonmormon

      bob is that your real name? You are both a pair of douches, I can only hope and pray that the next cop victim be one of you or one of your kids. Let’s see what you 2 rectal warts say after that.

      • staci

        nonmormon, that was such a horrible thing for you to say and you should ashamed of yourself. How dare you wish death on someone else or even worse on their children simply because they have a different opinion than you. I am sad for you that you are such an ugly person. However I wont say or wish anything bad for you, I will simply pray for you.

    • Dre

      i am former law enforcement, as well as former military… In the1980’s I hand a clear distinction between both of my jobs… Today. not so much.. Question Authority, you hit the nail right on the head!

  • PoPoPooPoo

    Who is going to police the police? That’s what we need. Oh wait then the Police of the Police will start blatantly shooting Police… It’s called a taser people. They work.

  • nonmormon

    Well bob, according to you an 80 year old man pointing his finger at his grandkids and telling them to pull is “pushing” the cops to far. Oh and bob, it is every citizens right bob to not be shot dead at 20 pulling their pants up, oh and bob? Go back to playing guardian to the police and baldbanks, they’re waiting for your fat A. S. S. @ dunkin Donuts, bob……

  • nonmormon

    To the friends and family of this young man, may justice come swift for this murderer. You have so many peoples heart felt condolences and anger over your great loss.

  • Brian

    PART 2 – Then you would see this officer fire, then immediately run to the aid of the deceased. 2 of the 3 officers were covered in blood as they tried to save this kid. My condolences to the family but this kid purposely aggravated an already sensitive situation. This is not about the police doing something wrong, I would hope that when I call 911 and give a description of a man with a gun, that the police will stop and question anyone even halfway fitting that description anywhere near the location given. All of you that think this was a bad cop or a trigger happy cop or anything like that know nothing. Just to clarify later accusations- no I am not a cop, no I do not work for the city and no i do not like chief Burbank, But this cop was in the right, even when our worthless DA fries him because of public pressure. Best of luck Officer.

  • Brian

    PART 1 Since It is under investigation by a separate department entirely. The police department wont release the Video, which yes, this officer was wearing a camera, but if we were to see it, you would see the two friends complying, the deceased cursing and walking away, then making a snatching motion and turning towards the officer. To any trained person, this would look as a life threatening action.

  • staci

    This whole situation is so awful, and I am sure nobody wanted it to end like this. Police officers are taught to think and act quickly. I am sure that those three officers feel awful and wish they could take it back, and im sure dillions parents and family feel the same way. But to be honest, being ugly and nasty only breeds more hate, and quite simply, dont we have enough of that? my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.

  • Trish Ramirez

    Cops across the country are out of control. They treat every citizens like a potential perpetrator rather than as thought they are innocent until proven guilty. They no longer protect and serve, they simply enforce laws. And those laws are becoming more and more arbitrary. It sounds like the young man was listening to music, who knows if he even heard the officers? He may have been reaching to pull up his pants, maybe to turn down the volume of the music on his phone – the point is there was clearly no weapon visible, because there was no weapon.

    The cops shot without even knowing if the guy was they guy they were looking for, let alone knowing if he was armed or not.

    It’s a travesty, and its inexcusable.

    Cops are NOT better than myself or you or the next guy. They are simply American citizens that chose police work as a career. They are deserving of the authority they have seemingly granted themselves, to shoot people in cold blood without even fully assessing a situation, let alone finding them guilty of something or even charging them with a crime.

    Sim Gill has demonstrated himself to be a fair DA with more consideration for the people of Salt Lake City than we’ve seen from an elected official in decades. He has been just with his investigations of officer involved shooting and has not been shy in pointing the finger when cops have been in the wrong. I wasn’t at the scene of this shooting, but I can only presume he will use the tools at his disposal to be fair and just in this investigation as well.

    Hopefully, he will take the appropriate actions to bring some justice to the family and friends of this young man, whose life was needlessly and apparently carelessly ended but the use of deadly force by the local police.

    And by appropriate action, I don’t mean that the officer responsible gets paid time off and is back on the job in 6 months. I mean that the officer responsible is held accountable at his place of employment, criminally and civilly. We can’t continue to stand for our Constitutional rights being trampled on and citizens being gunned down by trigger happy cops. Cops who take the life of a person needlessly need to be held to a higher standard than the average person, not a lower one. After all, these are trained professionals that people are supposed to be able to trust, not people that we are supposed to be in fear of for our lives.

    No cop should have the authority to use deadly force unless all other options have been exhausted. If they shoot and kill someone without justification, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law – just like any other citizen.

  • Dee

    What a tragic story. I’m so sorry for the friends and family of this young man. The SLPD is out of control. Many of them are liars and cheaters….just ask their wives…..if they will lie and cheat on their spouses, someone they supposedly love….well, you get the picture…

  • Callitquits

    It’s all going to come to a head soon, this is happening all over the country. They’re trying to get us used to the idea that it’s just commonplace to be gunned down for ridiculous nonsense. And really? We can’t speculate as to whether or not he had a gun? I’m pretty sure that since they shot him to death, and his body was at their feet, it should have been pretty simple to determine whether he had a firearm or not. Sounds pretty sketchy to me.


    Dillon Taylor, was witnessed waving around an object that fit the description of a gun.

    Witness call the police.

    The police arrive to investigate the firearm call.

    The police see the three individuals and order them to stop.

    Dillon Taylor; Unlike the other two, ignored the police officers (interfering with their investigation) and then reached for his waist (Who knows why but if you have guns pointed at you and are ordered to stop, the last thing ANYONE would do is reach for their waist).

    Dillon Taylor, had a felony arrest warrant

    Dillon Taylor, posted to facebook that he would rather die than be locked up in a cell for the felony warrant.

    Dillon Taylor, chose to act like he had a gun and wave whatever object he had around.

    Dillon Taylor, chose to ignore police officers.

    Dillon Taylor, chose to reach for his waist rather than comply with the officers.

    Dillon Taylor; if he did have headphones in, he was still with two other people. You mean to tell me that Dillon Taylor did not see the two people he was with stop for the police, who had all the surrounded with guns drawn? If so, then you are delusional.

    Dillon Taylor, by his own decisions, is now dead..

    Suicide By Cop.

  • callitquits

    Except a lot of what you’re saying is speculation. They didn’t positively ID him as the person who was reported to be waving a gun. They didn’t verify that he had a weapon, they got scared and shot him. Sounds like we’re giving guns to frightened little boys to me.

  • callitquits

    Not o mention, it’s completely possible that he was reaching to turn his music off. And how many times have you been staring down the barrel of a gun? It’s scary, and especially if he wasn’t the person the cops were called about, he’s not going to think they’re going to gun him down. So, don’t you think it might be possible he was trying to hear what they were saying? And were you there? I wasn’t, but I believe that it’s the police’s responsibility to verify a threat before killing someone.

  • Kim

    What a horrible thing to happen to Dillion and that cop deserves to rot in hell for killing him for no apparent reason, Assuming hes the guy they were looking for and assuming he was ignoring them and assuming he was reaching for a gun are all assumptions, Nobody has that right to fire a gun and kill a 20 year old on assumption or anything else for that matter unless theres a gun present in view and pointed at you, That cop just gunned down in cold blood a 20 yr old kid who did absolutely nothing wrong, From what i’ve read he wasnt even a threat,he had no idea they were even there. For all of you saying the cops told the three to stop or whatever they said and Dillon didnt comply, what dont you understand! HE HAD F***ING EARPHONES ON LISTENING TO MUSIC HOW THE F***COULD HE HAVE HEARD THEM!!!! He didnt know they were looking for someone waving a gun an he fit the description…why would he think pulling his pants up would get him killed!! BY F***ing COPS! They killed an innocent kid who had his whole life in front of him.Dillion will never get the chance to have a family to have a career or get to say goodbye to his family, Im just glad his brother n cousin were with him so we all know the truth and Dillon was murdered because of a careless cop who assumed. HE ASSUMED WRONG! Im so sorry for Dillon and his family an may justice be served -Rest in peace Dillion ,the worlds got your back-

    • C'MON KIM

      Innocent? He was wanted for felony warrants and made statements declaring that he would die before going to jail.

      Everyone is just mad ’cause they weren’t there for him when he was here and now that he’s gone y’all are just making a big deal about him being shot when he made the decisions that led up to his death,

      This 20 “man” was not innocent.

  • Mike

    I heard it was black cops that shot the white kid where are The repulsive Reverends and our idiotic racist pres. and racist Atty. Gen. now

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