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DA Sim Gill: Officer was “justified” in South Salt Lake shooting of Dillon Taylor

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WARNING: Video below is graphic and not appropriate for all audiences. Viewers discretion advised.

SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in a statement Tuesday the officer was justified in the South Salt Lake shooting of 20-year-old Dillon Taylor back in August.

Dillon Taylor - Facebook

Dillon Taylor - Facebook

Officer Bron Cruz shot Taylor two times in the chest and stomach after he refused to obey police.

Officer Cruz has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Officials said the officer believed Taylor had a weapon and intended to use it.

However, authorities did not find a weapon on or near Taylor when the officer shot him.

Footage from the officer's body camera (see video above) shows Officer Cruz repeatedly ordered  Dillon to show his hands.

On the footage Taylor can be heard saying "Nah, fool."

Then Taylor quickly raised his left hand from inside his waistband, lifted his shirt level with his armpit and quickly brought out his right hand.

At that time Officer Cruz shot Taylor twice.

Taylor died at the scene.

Police were originally called to the convenience store in South Salt Lake to check reports of a person with a gun.

Officials said Taylor's blood alcohol level was .18 percent when he was shot, well above the .08 legal limit.

Eerie Facebook posts before shooting

DA Gill said Taylor's Facebook posts show he was suicidal before the shooting.

WARNING: Taylor's Facebook posts contain graphic language

Just two days before Taylor was shot and killed, he made the following posts on his Facebook page.

S SL shooting Dillion Facebook post 2 explicit copy

This post on Taylor's Facebook page dates back to June.

Taylor posted this at the end of May.

He also stated on Facebook he got out of a mental hospital in the middle of May.

A post from March appears to indicate Taylor may have had thoughts of suicide.

911 call before officer-involved shooting 

Dillon Taylor Facebook

Dillon Taylor Facebook

According to Sgt. Darin Sweeten, police were called to the scene at a convenience store just after 7 p.m. Aug. 11 after receiving a 911 call about a man allegedly waving a gun in the air.

When police arrived they spotted the suspect, Taylor, leaving the gas station with two other individuals, his cousin and brother.

According to Sweeten, the officers demanded Taylor and the two others surrender.

Taylor did not follow orders; he kept walking when they confronted him.

Officers said Taylor reached toward his waist before they fatally shot him.

Taylor was wanted for a felony arrest warrant at the time of the shooting.

Taylor's brother and cousin did comply with police and were not arrested.

The three Salt Lake City Police officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

MORE: Complete details on officer-involved shooting of Dillon Taylor

Dillon Taylor Facebook

Dillon Taylor Facebook

Family of police shooting victim says he was unarmed

South Salt Lake man shot by police posted eerie message days before death

Dozens protest death of Dillon Taylor shot by SLC police officer

Protestors outside SLCPD demand justice for man shot, killed by police officer

Sister of man shot by SLC police among those at rally against police brutality

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

57 comments

  • Bob

    I’ll go way out on a limb in advance and predict that Dillon Taylor earned the consequences of his behavior and that the shooting was justified. Of course I wasn’t there and all I know is what I read in the news, and we all know how reliable that source of information is.

    • Mike Jay

      SLC Officer Bron Cruz shot & killed Dillon Taylor(20) in the chest once and stomach once and Taylor didn’t have a gun. In Officer Cruz’s statement, he said that he KNEW THERE WAS GOING TO BE A SHOOT OUT before he encountered Taylor. To me this was premeditated MURDER…

      • STEVE

        Thank you. Just because a person wears a badge does not make what they do legal. Yes they wok hard but having committed some crime in the past does not make that person somehow ELIGIBLE to be killed!

  • Nathan

    Why is it that all police involved shootings are some how considered justified. I think there needs to be more Citizen oversight involved in all police shootings. It should no longer be left up to the DA and police to determine what is justified. It does not matter that this kid had warrants out for his arrest. There are always alternatives to shooting. Did they try and use a Taser first, or was pulling a gun and shooting the first reaction. From the description of the story the kid would have been shot in the back. I can see the use of Deadly if the young man had turned and was pulling a weapon or charging an officer. Shooting someone in the back is NEVER Justified.

    • Bob

      Yes, let’s give a police officer a split second to react to and then let some uneducated Citizen’s Oversight Committee a month or two to second guess them. To make sure it’s all fair let’s include a convicted felon or two on the board.

    • bob

      Nathan, spoken like a true out-of-touch liberal… If an officer’s life is on the line, I do not see any problem with them shooting a CRIMINAL. That CRIMINAL made their choice and have to deal with the consequences… Also, a dead criminal cannot re-offend!

      • Nathan

        Out of Touch Liberal? For your information I did study the POST hand book, and was Going to take the Test to become an officer, But having a child earlier than I had planned and getting a job right away became a priority. I also happen to know a Few police officers that happen to agree with me. Shooting someone in the Back is never a good thing or is it called for, as my friends that are officers have told me there are always alternatives until you are actually in Danger. Walking away from an officer did not nor has it EVER placed an Officers life in Danger.

      • Bob

        Studying the POST hand book and being accepted into the police are two different things. Obviously you wouldn’t have passed their psychological exam.

      • Laura Victoria

        They had no idea who he was when they shot him. That is the relevant test. And the video looked as if he was shot in the back. The play by play by the DA needed English subtitles. I guess he changed his name spelling. He is barely fluent in English. A guy reaching down his pants with his back to you who at this point just walked away is not grounds to shoot him in the back. As many have said, the test would be what would happen to a private citizen with concealed carry in the same situation. The police work for us, not the other way around.

        And where is the 911 tape? Those are routinely released in my experience.

    • bob

      If it is a stupid criminal it is always. Criminals are a disease on this society and they are better off dead. I know that is harsh, but our prison system is not doing anything to stop these thugs…

      • iamronni

        Bob I WAS a correctional officer for over 8 years and shooting a suspect (yes, suspect. .. someone isn’t a criminal just because you keep saying it over and over. .. and not without being found guilty at a trial!) is NOT cool. I’m noticing a trend with the whole “put your hands up where I can see them! “…so I can shoot you when you do. I worked with more “convicted” criminals than a street cop see’s in a career and I did it without a gun. Shot first and ask questions later is becoming too common. And we need regular citizens on the review boards along with law enforcement… because having the police “police” themselves is not working.

      • BOBLIKESPENIS

        You can be anything you like on the internet IAMRONNI. I’m sure you were a correctional officer for over 8 years but only in your dreams.

      • iamronni

        Well Boblikespenis first you like my comment… then you accuse me of lying. Run kinda hot and cold there. Lol. Sorry if you don’t believe me but I resigned at the rank of Sergeant to raise my kids. Believe me or not I know it’s the truth. Or do you think women can only dream of being correctional officers? Lol

    • Steven

      Bob no offence but you have no idea what you are talking about. People are people and cops shouldn’t have the right to shoot people in the back. Cops need to use non deadly force, and let the justice system take care of the criminal.

      • BOBLIKESPENIS

        No offence to you Steven but it looks like the police in this story are smarter than the clown who decided to call what he mistakenly thought was their bluff.

    • Billy

      Nathan, no where in the article it states that he was shot in the back. If you watch the video of the body worn camera, it initially shows him walking away from the officer. Once the officer starts to give him commands, he turns and faces the officer.

    • Charles

      Nathan, what do you think the DA’s office is for? I’d rather have them following the law, than an uneducated individual following emotion when handing down “Legal” verdicts. If the family decides to refute this, and they’d be ridiculously asinine to do so with the obvious body-cam footage, they are free to petition higher courts.

  • STEVE

    It is so, so sad that people actually support someone being shot in the back as justifiable! So what, any time an officer feels you may be thinking of getting a gun from somewhere they can shoot a citizen!? Cmon no one is that stupid, even in Utah! Especially someone that has spent countless hours training not to do so. Thats what happens when they hire someones cousins, brothers, half sister from a previous relative.

    • bob

      I have been pulled over a few times and had to deal with cops, never once did I fear for my life? Why? Because I listened to the cop and didn’t make any stupid decisions… Police just do not go around shooting anyone they want. In most cases a CRIMINAL was not following orders and/or tried to make a violent move towards an officer… By the way, in Utah, running from an officer is a justifiable shooting…

    • Bob-1

      What is really sad Steve is that an underage drinker would respond “Nah, fool” when asked to show his hands. Just behave yourself Steve the next time you get pulled over by the police. Who knows, perhaps you too will be able to walk away from the encounter alive.

  • bob

    One less criminal off the street, I do not see any problems here. I cannot believe this country defends stupid criminals over sworn police officers…

  • john

    He was shot in the chest and stomach, not the back. He was intoxicated which also contributed to the shooting and lastly he pulled his hand quickly from his waistband. In this case, if someone’s family needs to be notified of a fatal shooting. I’m glad it was the criminal and not the officers because he was looking for his taser.

  • Nathan

    No what is sad Bob, is people like you who can’t offer constructive comments, and have to start running people in to the Ground. In your Eyes No one can be re-habilitated? A criminal will always be a Criminal? You obviously have led a VERY Sheltered life. People always have and always will have a Propensity to change, when given encouragement and Proper Guidance. Sometimes it takes a Serious slap in the face to make them change. I have also known people that have gotten in trouble with the law simply because of who they hang out with when the police showed up, It was called Guilt by association. Sounds like you are a little CLOSED MINDED BOB. Wake up and realize Not all people that have Criminal records are bad people, and not all people with a Badge are good people. Bad people come in all shapes and sizes and Job Titles

    • Bob

      Do you realize that there is more than one Bob responding to this story Dectective Nathan? And yes, I agree with the Bob above. Act like a decent law abiding citizen and the police will treat you accordingly. Act like a drunken fool, pretend to go for a gun in your waist band, bring your arm around rapidly thereafter, and again the police will treat you accordingly.

      • Laura Victoria

        Do you always have this confidence in government employees? That if you do the right thing, they will always do the right thing? Do you feel that way about IRS, DMV, EPA, the various decisions of the Obama administration? Or is it just young police officers with GEDs or high school diplomas you have supreme confidence in. You must be right though, because virtually every police shooting in the country is ruled justifiable. Everyone should be so infallible.

        And then again, maybe we would be if we were judged in our jobs by our best buddies who never had to pay a penny for our screw ups – and in fact were better off by scratching our backs so we scratch theirs. I assume you agree that Lois Lerner and other can be taken at their word and no independent investigations of their actions are needed.

        In other words are you one with a general distrust of government, an authoritarian con, a law and order con or what?

    • iamronni

      But Bob has “been pulled over a few times by cops”. That makes him an expert. Doesn’t it?! I mean obviously he thinks so. Or does that make him a “criminal”? If you are such an upstanding citizen why do cops keep pulling you over? *Things that make you go hmmmm*

    • Bob

      As I stated above Nathan studying the POST hand book and being accepted into the police are two different things. You wouldn’t have passed either their psychological exam or their hiring review board. Simple stated – you don’t have what it takes mentally to be a police officer.

  • Malik Dayo

    Everyone loses focus of the fact that the kid was unarmed and not the person the police were looking for. He would be alive today if the police didn’t mistake his identity.
    He lifted his shirt exposing that he had nothing.

    • Laura Victoria

      Which is ironically what Sean Hannity says he does when stopped by police because he has concealed carry. In each of these cases the cop defenders ask, don’t you ever think a shooting is justified of an unarmed guy? Yeah. I just don’t think every cop shooting in the country is justified, as almost all of them are.

  • Jacob Law

    What bothers me the most is this comply, and obey commands! why do we have to comply and obey? because they have a badge? If I was walking out of a store and did nothing wrong, minding my own business and a cop yelled and me to get down on the ground, or freeze. I do not think its right if I do not OBEY, I get shot to death!! there’s always room for error!! wrong person maybe????? and what really bugs me is the paper mentioned Dillon was above the legal limit to drive, well so what!!! he was walking!!!!! not driving, just another excuse to make our loved ones look bad so they can justify shooting, not to mention another reason Dillon maybe did not respond fast enough their COMMANDS! I’m so sadden by the BS decision to justify killing another kid!! Our hearts go out to the family of this tragic decision, to AGAIN screw another families lives with senseless murder!

  • Bob

    If you’re walking out of a store and the police have been notified that a robbery just took place in that store you’d better believe that the police are going to be issuing commands, and they have the authority to enforce those lawful commands.
    If you think the Salt Lake County District Attorney got it wrong why don’t you call him and enlighten him you fool.

  • dont trust everything you read

    First, HE WAS NOT SHOT IN THE BACK! Go back and read the story, dont just make usumptions. Second, for the people who said he was and it is “NEVER” justified to shoot someone in the back, let me ask you this. A man just killed someone and MIGHT still have the weapon used. He is running towards where your child, wife or any other person you care about are at. He is running away from you obviously his back is towards you, what do you do? Let him kill you family or anyone else? Third, there is a citizen review… its called a jury. First the DA has to decide if a crime occured. Then it goes to the citizens to decide. In this case it was found no crime occured. And lastly, do I think every cop is perfect… no. Like any other job we are all human and not all humans are good. You will get some bad apples anywhere, it doesn’t mean everyone in that career is dirty, so stop lumping everyone together. I feel this officer did what he felt he HAD to do to keep the public he swore to protect safe and go home to his loved ones.

    • iamronni

      Don’ttrusteverythingyouread just said “go back and read the story, don’t make assumptions”. So which is it? Lol. Now that’s funny!

      • BOBLIKESPENIS

        Some of us are smart enough not to make judgements based on what we read and hear in the news IAMRONNI. Perhaps Taylor wasn’t as smart as his two friends.

    • iamronni

      Ah…I see. Time to stop feeding the troll. Boblikespenis is clearly just commenting to be contrary. To bad, he had such a catchy name. Lol

  • Angel Wetzel

    Nothing contained within this story- blood alcohol level, on the outs with his family, even refusing to cooperate, none of this is justification for a cop to shoot to kill a 20 yr old.

    • Bob

      Perhaps the police should have consulted with you before acting on the “man with a gun” 911 call. Certainly the police academy could benefit from you superior knowledge on the subject of law enforcement.

  • BOBLIKESPENIS

    If only Dillon had been smart like his two friends he’d still be with us today. He’s just a typical male. I hate them all.

  • James Robinson

    I’m seeing that a lot of folks are missing the initial report of “man waving a gun around” anyone who’s been in law enforcement knows that is something that you assume to be correct, not a maybe, or could it have been, or whatever…..so place yourself in the police officer’s position, you get a call for a man with a gun…you get on scene, the bystanders point the guy out, he walks away ignoring your commands (remember this guy supposedly has a gun), then he says “nah, fool” and reaches for that area where anyone with common sense would think a gun would be…what does the officer then have to do? actually see the gun pointed at him? let the guy get off a couple of shots before you fire back? This guy wanted suicide by cop, that’s what he got. The victim here is the police officer and the bystanders.

  • James Robinson

    From what I’m reading on his FB rants, it’s ironic that now his family is flocking to his defense – “he was such a good kid” “he never did anything wrong” blah..blah..blah….where were they when he was homeless and troubled? now that they stand to make some money, they’re all over the news, whining.

  • endofdays321

    Being a police officer is a huge responsibility and is probably the most unappreciated/dangerous job in America but….
    Officer Cruz got out of his vehicle and immediately drew his weapon aiming it at the back of Taylor, an unarmed citizen. As Taylor is moving AWAY Cruz shoots him because, he said, he was scared for his life. Is this usual police protocol? If so, we’re all in danger of being killed by police.
    It doesn’t matter that Taylor was drunk or had weird texts/tweets as some want to demonize him. He did nothing, other than acting stupid, to deserve to be shot and killed.
    After this decision, Officer Wilson, who was actually assaulted by Mike Brown, likely won’t be prosecuted.

  • Jacob Mitchell

    I grew up with Dillon as a kid. Admittedly he had a rough life. Lost both of his parents as a teenager and had a life of crime with his brother. But lately he changed. He had been trying to turn his life around and his older brother was doing so as well. It was wrong of the officer to just shoot him without even taking out or using the taser first to check him for any weapons.

  • Jim

    Article doesn’t jive with video Ashton. I love the first part…”Officer Bron Cruz shot Taylor two times in the chest and stomach after he refused to obey police”.

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