Seattle police on Monday released a 60-second video that includes the fatal shooting Sunday of a man identified as Che Taylor, a convicted felon who could not legally possess a firearm under state and federal statute, but that evidently didn’t prevent him from having one.
The pistol in the image, above, was reportedly recovered at the shooting scene. It’s the gun police said Taylor was carrying, and is posted on the department’s Police Blotter. A police spokesman indicated to Examiner that the gun’s origin is being traced.
Call it another failure of gun control, no doubt including the so-called “universal background check” measure passed by Washington voters in November 2014. That legislation, adopted as Initiative 594, was pushed through with a big money campaign conducted by the same people now behind another gun control initiative announced last week.
“They’re claiming that I-594 was a success because it allegedly blocked more than 100 transactions of allegedly prohibited people…Where is the evidence that the people who were blocked didn’t get guns by some illicit means? To suggest that their measure helped prevent crimes is an insult to common sense.”—Alan Gottlieb, CCRKBA
Yesterday, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, was sharply critical of I-594, and the new initiative. He was perhaps I-594’s most ardent opponent, insisting that it would not keep guns out of the wrong hands. As this case demonstrates, Gottlieb has been consistently right on that score.
“They’re claiming that I-594 was a success because it allegedly blocked more than 100 transactions of allegedly prohibited people,” he said of the measure’s proponents. “But where are the arrests, prosecutions and convictions for the people who committed a felony by lying while trying to get a gun? Where is the evidence that the people who were blocked didn’t get guns by some illicit means? To suggest that their measure helped prevent crimes is an insult to common sense.
“Now the same billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group wants to foist another gun control package onto Washington voters,” Gottlieb said in a statement about the new initiative. “Nobody wants guns to fall into the wrong hands, but the devil is always in the details of these schemes. It tells us a lot that Democrats in the House couldn’t even pass this idea. If this didn’t pass the smell test in Olympia, it shouldn’t get the signatures to put it on the ballot.”
Seattle Times readers are not terribly sympathetic toward the dead man in their reader comments. The video shows officers, with guns drawn, moving in on Taylor on a residential street. He was reportedly spotted “clearly armed” and although they ordered him to the ground, the video appears to show him ducking into the passenger side of a car from which he had emerged.
At that point, 53-56 seconds into the video, at least six distinctive shots can be heard. Then the short video ends.
Images of the handgun show that it’s a Springfield XD-S 3.3-inch, chambered for .45 ACP. It has a 3.3-inch hammer forged steel barrel with a 1:16-inch rifling twist. The frame is polymer and features a grip safety. It is a popular sidearm among concealed carry and self-defense proponents for its reliability.
The magazine holds five rounds, and from the image, there appears to be one round in the magazine and a loose one that probably was removed from the chamber. Both rounds are 230-grain FMJs, known generically as “ball” ammo, the same stuff used by the military, target shooters and other competitors, and legally-armed private citizens.
However Taylor got that pistol, he didn’t have it legally. There was no background check. Such trivialities don’t stop people with criminal records from getting guns.
The rapidity with which the shooting unfolded may alarm some people. That’s how violent confrontations happen; suddenly and with no time to blink. It wasn’t clear from the video, which Examiner watched several times, which of two officers fired. After Taylor crouched down, his movements are obscured by the car due to the angle of the dash cam video.
There was one citizen witness, according to the SPD blotter. That person’s account of the shooting apparently squares with what the police said.
According to the Times, Taylor has also gone by the name of Marvin R. Hunter. His felony record includes robbery, rape, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. He reportedly was under Department of Corrections supervision.
But family members insisted to KOMO News last night that “he was not a violent person and would never threaten officers with a gun.” They also questioned why police shot him in the torso, what is called “center of mass.” That’s where police and private citizens are trained to shoot, if they have to shoot in self-defense emergencies.
Last night, KOMO reported, about 100 of Taylor’s friends and family members held a candlelight vigil at the scene of the shooting. They called for justice, and his brother, Andre, reportedly acknowledged that Che had problems but that he did not deserve to die, the story said.
The police said when Taylor arrived at Harborview, “he was carrying approximately 6 ounces of suspected crack cocaine and black tar heroin.” One of the other people in the car with Taylor was arrested and jailed for what the report said was “possession of a significant quantity of suspected heroin.”
The Times story quoted Taylor’s wife, who vowed that, “His life is going to make some changes. I’m not going to let him die in vain.”
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