Police Abuse

D.A. Releases Footage of August Police Shooting of Unarmed Man, Ruling It Justified

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Dillon Taylor
Facebook photo

On August 11, Officer Bron Cruz of Salt Lake City, Utah, shot and killed 20-year-old Dillon Taylor, who was unarmed, because Taylor fit the description of a 911 caller reporting a group of men flashing a handgun, according to the district attorney, who ruled the shooting justified. The D.A. said Taylor and two friends he was with were "making a scene" before approached by cops, according to the SaltLake Tribune, which reports:

Confronted by officers, the two men with Taylor held up their hands, while Taylor alone was "noncompliant."

Body-cam video shows that Taylor turned toward officers with his hands in his pants before hoisting his shirt — a gesture officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw.

"Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation," [the district attorney Sim] Gill said. "If anything, it escalated things."

Taylor's shooting was justified, Gill said, not because he posed an actual threat, but because Cruz reasonably perceived a threat.

"Officer Cruz's belief that Dillon Taylor was armed with a gun and intended to use it against the officers was reinforced by Dillon's actions and the acts of others," Gill wrote in a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank. "By the time Dillon drew his hands from his waistband, Officer Cruz's belief that Dillon was presenting a weapon [and … would use the weapon against officers] was reasonable."

About that video, it was released with the D.A.'s announcement that the shooting was justified. You can watch that below:

The Salt Lake Tribune cuts the video off after the shooting, so it doesn't show cops handcuffing their "suspect," who died shortly after, or waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

Gill used the video to explain cops already had a plan for the group of men Taylor was in and why the shooting as it went down was justified:

I'd like him as my defense attorney, I think. He's a prosecutor.

There were some protests for Dillon Taylor after the fatal August 11 shooting, but they were not sustained in the way protests after the August 9 shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Local protests over that shooting, and the police's heavy handed response, helped propel the story into the national news cycle. The parade of shootings since that have gone unnoticed certainly highlight the importance of community engagement on issues of police brutality.

h/t Scott F.

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125 responses to “D.A. Releases Footage of August Police Shooting of Unarmed Man, Ruling It Justified

  1. He’s white, so who cares, really?

    1. And officers went home safe that night, as is their right.

      1. That has got to be one of the most asinine statements I have ever heard. There was no justification for what happened. Was the guy acting like a jerk, most likely; most Americans are a#@holes now-a-days. If he was so frightened that he overreacted and murdered a man, perhaps he should find some other employment because it’s obvious he doesn’t have the constitution for state thuggery, after his lengthy prison sentence.

        1. Your sarcasm meter is off my freind

        2. most Americans are a#@holes now-a-days

          Viz… you.

  2. We need to start researching the ethnic ancestry of the shooters and the victim to determine whether or not my tribe is morally permitted to loot the fuck out of the place.

    1. Hey, the guy who got shot was white!

      Hello, new wide-screen TV!

    2. Did a group of Mormons get together and loot the grocery stores of all their Postum?

  3. Officer Cruz in pursuit of Dillon Taylor: “Get your hands out now! Get your hands out now!”

    Dillon Taylor complies by raising his hands and Officer Cruz shoots him.

    I see.

    Although it is true that a portion of Mr. Dillon’s shirt came up when he began to raise his hands (or Mr. Dillon raised his shirt purposefully), I would have thought Officer Cruz capable of correctly differentiating between a weapon and a stomach.

    1. Being deputized by law with lethal authority means never having to say your sorry for misinterpreting, or blatantly lying about, your victims’ furtive motions.

      1. having to say your you’re sorry

        *grumble*

    2. I would have thought Officer Cruz capable of correctly differentiating between a weapon and a stomach.

      Maybe the kid had a killer (pun intended) six-pack, while officer Cruz, more than likely, is a little soggy around the mid-section. Could that be considered “brandishing a weapon?”

  4. Body-cam video shows that Taylor turned toward officers with his hands in his pants before hoisting his shirt ? a gesture officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw.

    Fucking Christ on a pogo stick. Raising your shirt to show you are unarmed is grounds for killing someone?

    Why the fuck can’t these cops wait until they see an actual weapon, like the peasants have to do?

    Aren’t many, many movements a “possible” weapon-draw? If I have my hands in my pockets, isn’t pulling them out a “possible” weapon-draw? Howsabout if I reach into my pocket, for any reason? Or scratch my ass? Or reach down to tie my shoe?

    1. Fastest T-shirt In The West

    2. I’d say they have to wait until there is a weapon drawn and clear intention to use it. Cops are paid to take those risks so others don’t have to. Officer safety should never come before the safety of non-police unless they know for certain someone is a threat.

      1. You kidding? Better a hundred innocent citizens die than a single cop get a paper cut!

      2. Somehow I and many others managed to survive a lot more than the mean streets of Salt Lake City while still following a rule of Positive Identification of person and threat together. None of this “furtive movement” crap or “could have been” BS.

        Piss on these panic firing cowards.

        1. You didn’t have a union and the right to go home to your family after shift.

    3. Why was he going up to them, with his weapon drawn and pointed at them?

      I’m sure the weapon simply discharged and the suspect was injured.

  5. Helps explain the drug war and mandatory minimums.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org…..ket-locked

    1. Sure, it’s sleazy, but it’s peanuts compared to police and prison staff, and it’s peanuts compared to the political capital politicians make from these programs.

  6. I’ve never been a cop or in a job where I was paid to put my life in danger. So I wonder if it would be too much to demand that a cop must positively verify that a weapon has been drawn before he/she can fire at the wielder? Sure, some perp may get off a lucky first shot, but in other cases we all know about, an unarmed suspect is dead because a cop thinks he saw a furtive movement.

    1. All that matters is that procedures were followed and officers went home safe that night. Everything else is irrelevant.

      1. I’m beginning to wonder if you are serious or not. Nobaody can be this stupid on purpose.

        1. Nobody that is

    2. And the only worry about a lucky shot is that a suspect would be a much better marksman than the average cop.

    3. Since when were cops paid to put their lives in danger?

      Seriously. They are paid to be safe and to go home to their families, even if it means killing an unarmed man. Shoot first, and don’t bother asking any questions.

    4. Cops aren’t paid to put their lives in danger, either. Much as they would like us to believe otherwise.

      If they were, their highest priority wouldn’t be going home safe at the end of their shift.

      1. They are paid to make you obey their every word, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a lawful command or an unlawful command. Obey or die.

    5. Troops downrange have much higher standards in their rules of engagement, and they get in BIG fucking trouble if they deviate from said standards.

      When the police have more liberty to kill than uniformed soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines in a war zone, you know there’s a problem.

      1. Can’t we go back to where our soldiers acted like soldiers, and our cops acted like cops?

        We have it all backwards now. Our soldiers are sent on missions to win hearts and minds, while our cops are told they are patrolling an active war zone.

      2. Well put.

  7. So, the officer isn’t required to actually see a weapon prior to blowing you away? Just needs to think their might possibly be a weapon? What level of probability is required, exactly, before you can end someone’s life? Do you need to be 50% certain? 10%? Or is .1% okay?

    So, if I’m an armed civilian, and I see a guy who might be a mugger walking toward me, I’m perfectly justified in blowing him away if he lifts his shirt?

    1. No, Francisco. You haven’t received the requisite extensive training and don’t selflessly put your life on the line everyday for the good of the community you serve.

    2. So, if I’m an armed civilian, and I see a guy who might be a mugger walking toward me, I’m perfectly justified in blowing him away if he lifts his shirt?

      Don’t be silly, cops get more leeway because they’re Big Damn Heroes. You’re disposable, so no.

    3. Do YOU have a shiny medallion that imbues you with mystical powers making you infallible in the eyes of the law?!

      I didn’t think so, pleb.

  8. You know what other gestures officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw?

    1. Blinking like Stephen Hawking?

    2. Barking and tail wagging.

      1. Thread winner.

  9. As someone (robc, I think) said the other day, in a situation like this (or if someone answers their door armed) the police have a moral obligation to take the first shot (as in accept the risk that they might get shot). If they don’t know for sure that the person poses a real threat to them, then the police need to give the benefit of the doubt. The guy answering the door in the middle of the night has no reason to know that there are police at the door (even if they identify themselves, anyone can yell “police!”). This kid presumably had no way to know that the police thought he might have a gun.
    Sorry, cops. If you shoot first and ask questions later, you are in the wrong, I don’t care what the law says. Don’t like it? Get a different job.

    1. If you shoot first and ask questions later, you are in the wrong, I don’t care what the law says.

      Well, the law and the cops don’t care what you say.

      Don’t like it?

      Like I said, that is immaterial.

      Get a different job.

      What? And give up the power to inflict violence upon anyone who doesn’t immediately obey your every word? Give up the power to kill anyone who dares to threaten you in any way?

      Not gonna happen.

      1. I wonder if modern policing just attracts losers who get a chubby at the thought of having some authority? Or is it that modern police training instills a sense of paranoia in cops that makes them think that any routine traffic stop could be their last?

        I have a feeling it’s more the later then the former.

        1. I think it’s a healthy mix of both. They go into the Academy as losers who crave authority, and they come out terrified to fucking death of anyone who doesn’t immediately obey them.

          1. Losers!? Clearly you don’t know how awesome it is to be a power-lifting, surfing champion, cop musician married to Morgan Fairchild!

            hth
            smooches

        2. “I wonder if modern policing just attracts losers…. Or is it that modern police training instills a sense of paranoia …?”

          In my limited experience it is a mixture of what you have written.

          The older police officers I know now consider most everyone a threat, and they tell me that the younger officers are being hired not for their perceived capabilities to understand the law but for their willingness to follow orders and enforce the law (or just follow orders).

          Another officer who I was talking to told me that her father was also a cop. I asked her if she or her father had noticed a trend in their police department to hire “order followers” versus law enforcement officers. She said they both had, and after some further conversation she basically wished me luck in any future interactions, hoping that I would only encounter the better kind of officer.

          Regards,

          Charles

      2. Well, of course it’s not going to happen. It still should be said from time to time.

    1. Turn on your tardlight
      Let it shine wherever you go
      Let it make a tardy glow
      For all the world to derp

      Turn on your tardlight
      In the middle of a young boy’s pants
      Don’t wake me up too soon
      Gonna ride him across the room
      You and me

    2. Don’t hold your breath on this one.

  10. that paranoid basket of nerves has no business handling a firearm, let alone working for law enforcement. it’s broad daylight. the man takes his hands out of his pockets and lifts his shirt ostensibly to show he has no gun. not to draw a gun. this nimrod needs to be parted from the state power to execute before he kills a nursing mother for taking her nipple out of her babe’s mouth in public.

    1. It’s a tough call. Lifting his shirt was clearly a mistake, as was continuing to put distance between himself and the officers when he knew he had a gun on him. The first thing you must do if you’re carrying IWB (the most popular way to carry) is lift your shirt. He knew he had a gun leveled on him and he continued to move backwards, then he raised his shirt. I’m not defending the officer, and I’m not saying it was a good shoot, but I can see how this would be mistaken for a draw.

      1. I can see how this would be mistaken for a draw.

        Oh sure. In his hopped-up, adrenaline induced, fuzzy delirium, alternating between pissing and shitting his pants, he could have seen anything.

        Why, for a moment, I definitely saw Dr. Smith and Young Will Robinson, scurrying away from the alien danger.

      2. I can see how this would be mistaken for a draw.

        I don’t. He never had anything, much less a gun, in his hand.

        1. regardless of whether it was a good shoot, doing anything other than putting your hands in the air when multiple cops have you at gunpoint is just stupid

          1. He wuz asking for it, dressed like that!

  11. This guy was dangerous – it’s not as if he was some harmless guy leaping the fence and getting into the White House.

  12. Bla…bla…bla…

    Goddamn speech-to-text…

    Bla…bla…bla…

    hth

  13. Will body cams replace TV cop shows?

    1. Not when they are always turned off for the “good” parts.

  14. According to the police logic, once this guy put his hands in his pockets, he was done for. Leaving them in his pockets would have been non-compliance since the cop was yelling at him to take them out. And taking them out somehow looked like he was drawing a weapon. Either way, he’s dead.

    1. The best is when multiple cops scream conflicting orders at somebody. Then whichever cop whose orders weren’t obeyed starts off a panic fire.

      1. The best is when multiple cops scream conflicting orders at somebody.

        They do that so that no matter what happens they can arrest the “perp” for failing to obey/ resisting arrest since it’s impossible to obey every conficting order being given.

      2. The FBI got away with this in Baltimore, shooting a COMPLETELY innocent man, because they did not have enough self-discipline to have ONE officer giving CLEAR orders. Google Jensen. About 5 years ago.

        The FBI internal investigation found “No problemo, Senior” just like in Mexico.

      3. Gale: All right, ya hayseeds, it’s a stick-up. Everybody freeze. Everybody down on the ground.

        Feisty Hayseed: Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion. You see…

        Gale: Shut up!

        Feisty Hayseed: Okay then.

        Gale: Everybody down on the ground!

        Evelle: Y’all can just forget that part about freezin’ now.

        Gale: Better still to get down there.

        Evelle: Yeah, y’all hear that, don’t ya?
        [Everybody lays down. Gale looks at the now-empty teller windows]

        Gale: Shit! Where’d all the tellers go?

        Teller’s voices: We’re down here, sir.

        Evelle: They’re on the floor as you commanded, Gale.

        1. Excellent.

          I noticed you used your code name when posting the lines.

    2. Just the way they train it at the academy! You must have been an instructor.

  15. Bottom Line: Cops can either be each one a hero, or they can take special precautions to make sure that each gets home safely at the end of his shift, but not both. And if they want the latter, they should be prepared to be hated and shunned like any other gang of thugs.

  16. I’m reserving judgement until New Dunphy shares its view

    (FYI I think posts like this provide case study in why its *not* really him – he would only show up on ‘Cop Topics’ and be highly specific to the scenario – whereas this one just blabbers on all over the place without anyone even engaging it)

    1. Yeah. This ain’t the same guy. The real dunphy always resorted to personal attacks whenever someone made a good point.
      “you’re all butthurt because you were arrested once”
      Or some shit like that.

      1. agree….so who is the new dunphy ? a regular or a troll ?

        1. It has to be someone who was around during the old dunphy’s days in order to ape his posting style (which is another way you can tell it’s an impersonator, it’s way too over the top and deliberatly obnoxious to be real).

          I’m not sure who it is though. tulpa maybe?

        2. what ever happend to the old dunphy?

        3. My first guess was Cesar, but that was only wishful thinking and this troll makes mistakes that he wouldn’t. I’m more or less onboard with it being another Mary outbreak.

    2. he would only show up on ‘Cop Topics’ and be highly specific to the scenario

      That’s not how I remember it.

      I think it’s him. 92.3% probability. He is more agitated, but that could be anything. Got married, divorced, put on paid vacation… But it’s him.

  17. “Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation,” [the district attorney Sim] Gill said. “If anything, it escalated things.”

    Your duty as a civilian is to ensure police officers are not made to feel unease, in any way.

    Othering the police is a capital crime.

    1. Failure to obey carries a death sentence.

  18. This ain’t the same guy.

    That’s my suspicion, as well; dunphybot 2.0 has some algorithm tweaks.

    More preternatural smugness and slavish appeal to authority, tighter range of trigger word “if/then” canned responses.

    1. Yeah, the original dunphy wasn’t quite so insane and stream of consciousness. Unless maybe he injured himself powerlifting and is on some serious painkillers. Who knows?

      1. Could it be Mary?

        1. My money’s on either her or tulpa.

  19. He (dunphybot) refers to commenting via speech to text; hopefully, this is because somebody dropped a cinderblock on his head and rendered him a quadriplegic. It would also explain the brain damaged rambling.

    1. It’s a spoof.

      1. Spoof? Troll? Sock?

        Or just idiot?

        Eh. Who really cares?

        1. An Idiot Sock-Troll who is spoofing us.

        2. I’ve saved so much time just scrolling past his nonsense.

  20. I thought it was a spoof, at first; especially with the “artist formerly” business. But it has become much more active and strident, like a panhandler with the jitters.

    It’s a fucking obnoxious nuisance, and I skip over its posts in their entirety.

    hth

    1. “more active and strident, like a panhandler with the jitters”

      *opera applause*

    2. like a panhandler with the jitters.

      One of the very best Law and Order episodes was the wheelchair bound nutcase (assaulted by vigilantes) who ended up suing and testified that he would use the money to get high and further harass the neighborhood.

  21. I’ve heard of suicide-by-cop. But lately I’ve been seeing a new trend… murder-by-cop. Just call the cops saying someone you don’t like is waving a gun around and let them do the dirty work for you…

  22. Until we start demanding police be held accountable by holding them to the same burden of proof we as citizens have nothing will change. If there was no firearm, this guy is guilty of manslaughter at least. For Christ’s sake these are supposed to be public servants not executioners.

  23. Justified. Clearly the interpretation by the officer that Taylor might be drawing a gun was reasonable. He gave clear and numerous commands, he had information that a weapon might be present. This is tragic because ultimately Taylor wasn’t armed and therefore wasn’t a threat but you can only judge the officer by what was known at the time. The simple fact is that it takes fractions of a second to draw and fire a handgun so there wasn’t time for the officer to wait and see what Taylor was doing. The fault ultimately lies with Taylor who ignored commands and escalated the situation.

    1. yes. the old “split second decision” excuse. tiresome.

    2. Would it be immoral to swat people like this? At least that is an incremental step toward the problem fixing itself.

    3. “Clearly the interpretation by the officer that Taylor might be drawing a gun was reasonable.”

      He didn’t have a gun so it wasn’t reasonable, the officer never made a visual on a weapon. There was never any evidence that this person had a weapon, a phone call is not evidence, it’s heresay. This is a clear case of guilty until shot dead and proven innocent.

    4. “He gave clear and numerous commands”
      Yes, for Taylor to take his hands out of his pants and when Taylor did exactly that the cop shot him. BTW, Taylor had a BAC of .18. He was drunk.

  24. I amj profoundly deaf. I guess this means when I don’t hear the policeman’s orders he can just shoot me without seeing a weapon or me threatening him in any way!

    1. So you are saying Taylor didn’t see the officers with their guns drawn as he was walking away?

      1. Taylor was drunk.

      2. “So you are saying Taylor didn’t see the officers with their guns drawn as he was walking away?”

        I think he is pointing out the fact that some police officers will attack their fellow citizens if those citizens do not quickly obey the officers’ orders.
        Research the case of Jonathan Meister, a deaf man beaten for not complying with verbal orders.

        Regards,

        Charles

  25. Just asking the question: does anyone who disobeys someone with the upper-hand on them (policeman, federal agent, guy who is attempting armed robbery against them) bear any responsibility for what happens to them? Or is it all on the one with the upper-hand? Seems to me the two who complied did not get shot. Not putting it all on the deceased, but his choice to walk away put him in a bad spot. Decisions have consequences.

    1. You mean like the victim of a rapist? Superior strength and brutality rarely equate to superior moral high ground.

  26. So wait, it was complying with the order to “get your hands out, now!” that justified the shoot? Do I have that about right?

    1. You are correct, Paul.
      This is clear in the first video embedded in the article, from which I quoted above.

  27. DA’s are elected. They all believe that they cannot get re-elected without the endorsement of the Police Union so they do what they must to keep the police satisfied. This is an example of a DA cave in.

  28. Officer Cruz is an incompetent murderer.

    If the justice system won’t say it, then the people should.

  29. Clearly the interpretation by the officer that Taylor might be drawing a gun was reasonable.

    And any gun owner in America would receive the same deference, right?

    Bullshit. If I shot somebody for scratching his belly, I’d go to jail. That cop won’t even lose a paycheck.

  30. It’s very difficult watching this coward shoot a kid in the back for pulling up his stupid baggy gangbanger pants. I can only hope that the guilt of having killed a kid for no reason eats this lowlife cop from the inside out and destroys whatever remains of his pitiful life from the inside out.

    Baggy pants need to be pulled up almost continuously. Whenever I see ese’s standing around and, particularly, walking, they are constantly pulling their pants back up. It’s just part of wearing that uniform. I’m certain that cops know this, as they deal with baggy pants wearers everyday.

    Having a mumbling, barely coherent prosecutor breathlessly try to explain this, obviously desperate to exonerate the officer, in no way changes that. That lawyer could only make it on the team which has the weight of the whole system behind him. Defense lawyers are a brazillion times more eloquent.

    1. Zip strips made a very good belt for baggy pants in my classes. Only used them once or twice during the school year. Come to think of it, not too many students wore baggy pants in my classes.

  31. Movie idea: vigilante group that learns about these bad pig shoots and avenges the murders after the DA lets the pigs off. Would it draw? It would certainly be controversial.

  32. Officer clearly committed an egregious error in procedure. Should have shot the perp in the left buttock as soon as the hand dropped to the waistband. Would have made for a more entertaining video as well.

    1. “Should have shot the perp in the left buttock as soon as the hand dropped to the waistband.”

      Damien, didn’t you watch the video? The perpetrator already had his pistol in hand before he shot the unarmed victim. The perpetrator’s own body camera clearly shows this to be the case.

  33. Dear Law Enforcement Officers,
    Welcome to the United States of America, where there are roughly 270 million to 310 million LEGALLY OWNED guns, and roughly 100 million LEGAL gun owners.

    The odds are that everywhere you go, some people around you will be armed. On average, they’re better trained than you, they shoot more often than you, and they’re more responsible than you. Statistically, those that are licensed to carry concealed weapons have a much lower rate of criminality than the police, and they’re SEVEN TIMES LESS LIKELY to accidentally shoot an innocent person. “Why is that?”, you might ask. It’s because they are actually held to a higher standard than you. ]

    If an armed citizen accidentally shoots the meter-reader in his yard because he mistook a cellphone for a gun, it’ll cost him. He’ll be arrested, charged, and will spend tens-of-thousands of dollars in legal fees, at a minimum. He may or may not be convicted, but while he’s waiting to find out, he’ll be sitting in a cell. He’ll lose his job, and probably his home, and everything else he’s worked for.

    cont;

    1. On the other hand, should you accidentally or intentionally shoot an unarmed person, you’ll have the backing of the State. You’ll probably get paid to sit at home, or at a desk, while your fellow employees of the State investigate the incident. There’s a very high probability that you’ll be exonerated of any wrong-doing before the blood of the victim has dried. Your legal fees and any subsequent civil judgements are paid by the very same people you are allowed to accidentally shoot.

      You are held to a lower standard than those you feel superior to, and have power over. You can spray bullets wildly though a neighborhood, and someone else pays for it. You can t-bone a car full of teenage girls because you ran a red-light, and someone else pays for it. You can falsely arrest anyone for anything, and someone else pays for it. You are not accountable, while we are.

      Because we regular, non-anointed citizens ARE held accountable, we’re more careful and thoughtful of our actions. We have to be. We pay for firearms training from our own pockets. We buy our own firearms and ammunition. We practice, because we know we can’t depend on you to be everywhere, nor do we expect you to be everywhere.

      1. We assume responsibility for our own safety. This presents a problem however. When you are trained to view every firearm as a threat, and every armed citizen as a criminal, it puts us at odds with each other. Whether you like it or not, we have a right to be armed. With 100 million legal gun owners in this country, the mere sight of a firearm is NOT grounds to open fire on anyone, ever.

        If the mere presence of a firearm scares you, perhaps you should seek a different career; maybe something like interior decorating or flower arrangement. If you feel like you’re entitled to kill an innocent person without repercussion just because YOU made a mistake and felt threatened by a cell-phone, “furtive movement”, or whatever, you’re a fucking coward.

        Yes, we expect there to be an actual threat before you kill one of us; not some perceived threat, but an actual one. You signed up to be a cop. If you’re not willing to take risks and put our safety before your own, we don’t need you.

        1. Unless something changes and LEOs are held to a higher standard, there will come a point when we fear the police more than we fear criminals. For many people, we are already there. Bad acts and poor judgement are a part of life. Bad acts and poor judgement without negative repercussions are not. Hold yourselves accountable, or there will come a point where the average citizen is not on your side. When that happens, you will lose the game of “us versus them”, be it on the streets or in the courts.

  34. I think too many cops are just cowards. This one had his pistol out, and “had the drop” on Taylor. So he couldn’t wait to see if Taylor actually had a pistol?

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