The newly released video of a June 25 police shooting in Fresno, California, raises questions about the killing of an unarmed white motorist. Dylan Noble, 19, died after he was shot four times. Fresno police said Noble was a suspect in another call about a man with a rifle. When Noble’s pickup truck was stopped, two officers got out of their car with weapons drawn and yelled for him to put both hands out. According to Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Noble didn’t fully comply with officers’ commands for the next full minute—putting only one hand out, as shown on the video. Noble then climbed out of the vehicle and the officers yelled that they didn’t tell him to get out of the truck. He got back in the truck but left the door open. “Let me see your hands!” an officer shouted repeatedly. Noble eventually left the truck again but didn’t get on the ground when an officer told him to. Instead, he walked away from officers, then turned around and walked toward them, with his right hand behind his back. Officers asked Noble what was in his hidden hand and warned him that if he didn’t put both in the air, he’d be shot. Noble reportedly said, “I fucking hate my life.” One of the officers fired twice, then again when Noble was on the ground and appeared to reach for his waistband. The other officer fired, too.
Dyer says cops now know that Noble didn’t have a gun—and added that he still doesn’t know if deadly force was necessary. An internal affairs investigation is examining the event to determine whether procedures were followed. The district attorney will then decide if the officers should be criminally charged. “We’re shocked and appalled that the city of Fresno would continue to defend the actions of its officers,” said a lawyer for Dylan’s mother, Veronica Noble. “Clearly the only appropriate response is to accept responsibility and commit to changing practices of the police department.”