On July 12, The Bee reported, based on comments from Chief Jerry Dyer, that Fresno Police Department “officers are trained to put distance and find cover from suspects, in order to give them time to make decisions,” and that “mental-health awareness training and non-lethal Tasers were some of the other options.”
On July 13, Chief Dyer released a body-cam video of veteran officers shooting Dylan Noble dead. The video shows:
▪ a gun drawn before a veteran officer has even stopped his car
▪ veteran officers approaching aggressively in an open space
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▪ veteran officers making extremely rapid decisions to fire multiple shots, some of them into Mr. Noble while he lay bleeding on the ground from the first few
▪ veteran officers demonstrating no awareness of potential mental-health issues
▪ veteran officers making no attempt to use, and showing no inclination to even think about using, non-lethal force.
The Bee’s Editorial Board says it will hold Chief Dyer to a high standard as he investigates that shooting. That same high standard should prompt The Bee to conduct a thorough investigation into Chief Dyer’s claims about officer training. The city and its police belong to citizens, not the other way around.
Peter Wall, Fresno