Oct. 1, 2014 correction: We have just learned that, based on recent news reports and the release of a video of the shooting, the police officer is apparently Hispanic, not black. We relied on the information available at the time from World Net Daily and other sources regarding the officer's race (the police department said only that the officer was nonwhite), and we apologize for the mistake.
While Ferguson, Missouri, burns with racism and rioting, misinformation and mayhem over the Michael Brown shooting, another American city is also grappling with the death of an unarmed young man at the hands of police. The incident occurred just two days after the Ferguson event, but, unlike in that case, where a white cop shot a black youth, in this instance the races are reversed. Unlike in Ferguson, there is no allegation that the young man attacked the officer. And there is another difference:
The national media, Attorney General Holder, and Barack Obama are silent.
The young man was 20-year-old Salt Lake City resident and father-to-be Dillon Taylor. Taylor was leaving the 2102 South State Street 7-Eleven on August 11 with his brother, Jerrail Taylor, and cousin, Adam Thayne, when the incident occurred. Writes Fox 13:
According to [South Salt Lake police] Sgt. Darin Sweeten, police were called to the scene just after 7 p.m. after receiving a 911 call of a man waving a gun in the air.
When police arrived they spotted the suspect leaving the gas station with two other individuals.
According to Sweeten, the officers demanded that the suspect and the two others surrender.
The suspect did not follow orders and was shot.
Police have not confirmed whether or not the suspect had a gun or why he was shot.
The two other individuals [Jerrail Taylor and Adam Thayne] with the suspect did comply with police.
Allegations have been made, however, that Taylor was a victim of mistaken identity and, perhaps, overly-aggressive policing. As KUTV reports:
Dillon's brother and cousin claim they were on their way to visit his parents’ graves and that Dillon was surprised by the police presence. He was not aggressive, they said.
“He had headphones in, and he couldn't hear [anything], and then they finally surrounded him," Jerrail said. "They're like, 'Get on the ground,' and [he] pulled up his pants and [they] shot him."
Thayne believes police might have thought his cousin was reaching for a gun when, in reality, he grabbed his cell phone.
"I was in shock, because he was wearing a white t-shirt and there was blood all over it," Thayne said. "They ran up and handcuffed him. He wasn't moving."
A witness's video shows police yelling for the two men to remain on the ground as Thayne repeatedly screams that they have shot his cousin.
The two men were taken to the police station, but released hours later without being charged or cited.
Unlike the Ferguson Police, many Salt Lake City law-enforcement officers wear body cameras, and the incident was caught on video. The video is currently being withheld, however; Police Chief Chris Burbank says that it, along with the name of the officer firing the shots, will be released at the “appropriate” time.
Whether or not Taylor actually was the suspect sought by police, he does have a checkered past. Writes WND’s Joe Kovacs, “At the time of his shooting, court documents show Taylor had a $25,000 bench warrant for a probation violation in connection with felony robbery and obstructing justice convictions.” In addition, it has surfaced that he had posted some eerie Facebook messages mere days before his death, saying that he was fighting “demons” and feared it was his “time soon.” As Kovacs also reports, however, “Marissa Martinez, whose sister used to date Taylor, told the Salt Lake Tribune that Taylor had turned over a new leaf. ‘He was trying to do better for himself. And this is what happens to him?’ Martinez said. ‘It was really heartbreaking.’”
Nonetheless, neither Taylor nor the police officer who shot him is on trial right now. Critics, however, say that something certainly should be:
Addressing media hypocrisy and the racial aspect of the story — Chief Burbank identifies the officer only as “non-white” but media outlets such as WND and Gateway Pundit are reporting he is black — American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson writes:
A brutal natural experiment is underway demonstrating the role of race, riots, and radicals in determining whose death is noted, and whose ignored in racialized America when unarmed young men are shot and killed by police. While American and world media, along with the President and Attorney General of the United States, obsess over the death of Michael Brown at the hands of the Ferguson, Missouri police, few people outside of Utah have heard of the remarkably parallel and contemporaneous death of Dillon Taylor.
On his show yesterday, radio host Rush Limbaugh also weighed in on the double standards. After saying that Taylor “didn’t resist ... didn’t hit the cop ... didn’t try to flee and yet he was shot dead,” Limbaugh pointed out that while the media couldn’t “wait to mention the racial aspects” in Ferguson, they suppress those aspects in the Salt Lake City case. The host then opined:
There’s a mindset out there, and the way it works in situations like this [is] only people of color can be victims. A white person can never be a victim.... The whites are the oppressors. They’re the majority. In the liberal worldview, every majority is an oppressor, whether they’re white or whatever.... The minority is always the victims, and the victims are with whom we should always sympathize, no matter what. And the victims are permitted to do anything precisely because they’re a minority....
And that’s how you have a corrupt or perverted news business in Salt Lake City, refusing to identify a black cop who may have shot an innocent person. That destroys the whole picture we’ve been creating here for centuries. That could totally destroy the image that we’ve been trying to concoct. Oh, man, that could blow it sky high.... And so they come up with these things to hide it or to not reference it at all.
Critics note another double standard, one Salt Lake City residents are, thankfully, exercising completely. While they have participated in protests demanding justice for Taylor, these have not been accompanied by rioting, looting, violence, and calls for the murder of police officers — unlike in Ferguson.