Dylan Noble was killed after being pulled over at California gas station, and multiple shots were fired even as he was wounded and lying on his back

Police in California have released graphic body-camera footage of officers repeatedly shooting an unarmed teenager, including multiple shots that were fired as the adolescent was gravely wounded, lying on his back and barely moving.

The release on Wednesday of video of the killing of Dylan Noble, a 19-year-old shot at a gas station in Fresno on 25 June, occurred just hours after the police department told the Guardian he would not release the footage.

Officers privately showed the video to Nobles family last Friday but had initially refused to release the video to the public until the investigation was complete.

They just wanted to shoot him, said Darren Noble, Dylans father, after watching the footage. Theyre just trigger-happy.

After watching the footage, Nobles family launched legal action against the city alleging that the shooting was an inexcusable use of excessive force.

According to the Fresno police departments account of the shooting, officers pulled Noble over while investigating reports of a man carrying a rifle at around 3.20pm.

Police claim that the officers believed Noble had a gun, though they later learned he had no weapons on him or in his pickup truck.

Blurry video from a witness that emerged last week captured the final bullets that killed Noble, but the body-camera footage provides a much fuller picture of the shooting.

The body-camera footage released Wednesday shows that officers approached Noble with their guns pointed at him and repeatedly shouted: Let me see your hands and Both hands.

When Noble eventually exited and walked away from his truck, he appeared to have his left arm outstretched and, for a few seconds, his right arm behind his back. He then briefly walked toward the police.

Officers continued shouting at him to show his hands, with one screaming: Get your fucking ass on the ground.

One officer then fired two shots at Noble, who collapsed onto the ground and rolled onto his back. Approximately 12 seconds later, while Noble was laying on the ground, the same officer fired a third shot.

An officer then shouted: If you reach one more time, you will get shot again. Stop.

Roughly 15 seconds after the third shot, with Noble barely moving, another officer shot a fourth.

Do not reach again, please, an officer said.

Narrating the footage, police chief Jerry Dyer repeatedly pointed out moments when, he said, it appeared that Noble had something in his hand. He said the investigation would seek to determine whether each bullet was justified and if there were alternative actions the police could have taken.

Dylan
Dylan Noble. Photograph: Courtesy of family

Were the last two rounds fired by the officers necessary? Based on a reasonable fear, did the officers have to use deadly force? I do not have the answer to that today, he said, adding: That video was extremely disturbing to watch.

Dyer also referenced the unrest throughout the country, saying: In many respects, we are a spark away from a forest fire in our communities in America.

Questions over Nobles death come at a time when communities across the country are grappling with anxieties about police brutality following multiple high-profile deaths by officers.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police tackled and fatally shot Alton Sterling last week outside of a convenience store while he was selling CDs.

One day later, during a traffic stop in Minnesota, an officer killed Philando Castile, who told the officer that he had a gun and a permit to carry it, according to his girlfriend, who was sat in the passenger seat.

The Baton Rouge shooting and the aftermath of the Minnesota shooting were caught on camera in disturbing footage that quickly went viral.

The violence continued when a sniper killed five officers in Dallas last Thursday during a peaceful protest against police violence. According to police, the gunman, Micah Johnson, was a political extremist motivated by grievances over police shootings promoted by the the Black Lives Matters movement.

Dyer said he would not release the name of the officers out of fear for their safety. I dont want anything to happen in our city like it happened in Dallas.

The death of Noble, who is white, received national attention when some protesters in the Central Valley city held up a White Lives Matter sign at a vigil.

The appropriation of the political caused controversy online, however friends of Noble said their protests had been misunderstood and they were only seeking justice for their friend.

The Noble familys claim for unspecified damages, filed on Monday on behalf of his mother Veronica Nelson, argues that officers never had an objectively reasonable basis to shoot the 19-year-old.

The department has also failed to remedy systemic violations and civil rights abuses within the police agency, the claim continues, and has shown deliberate indifference to the use of excessive and often deadly force in encounters with civilians when it is a grossly disproportionate response.

Days after the shooting, Dyer said he felt it would be premature to release the video before the investigation was concluded.

The release of the footage appeared to be a last-minute decision.

On Wednesday afternoon, a police spokesman told the Guardian the departments position hadnt changed and the video would not be released.

About half an hour later, the spokesman said the chief had changed his mind and decided to let the media watch the footage.

At the news conference, Dyer said he did not want to release the footage the day after the shootings in Dallas. Although tensions remain high at this point, not only here in Fresno but across this nation, I believe the timing is right to release this video.

Nobles father said that while the public would likely be angered by the footage, he hoped there would not be any violent protest. I dont want no riot. I dont want anybody else hurt.

He added: Nothing they do can bring my kid back … but I want those cops to pay. I wont be satisfied until they go up on murder charges. They should be held [responsible] like anybody else who killed an innocent kid.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/13/body-camera-footage-released-dylan-noble-police-shooting

Footage of police killing unarmed teen prompts claim of ‘trigger-happy’ officers
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