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Gruesome body camera video helped clear Utah police officer in shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old

When police in Salt Lake City, Utah, fatally shot 18-year-old Dillon Taylor earlier this year, many were left wondering if Taylor had to die.

A graphic 9-minute body camera video helped clear the three police officers involved of any wrongdoing. In the video, Taylor, who was mentally ill, appears to be raising his hands at police orders. He also reportedly said, “No, fool.” After the shooting, the officer who fired is heard saying, “He was reaching.”

The video has become newly relevant in light of a recent national push to get more police to wear body cameras. Supporters, including the family of Michael Brown, say they’ll make police think twice before using deadly force and hold them accountable when they do. But a Fusion investigation found body-camera evidence usually favors police officers, and there is little evidence they reduce police involved shootings or use of force incidents.

After a nearly two-month investigation, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined Taylor’s shooting to be legally justified.

Gill told Fusion the body camera video was “important and relevant” to make his decision.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include additional description of the video.

Gruesome body camera video helped clear Utah police officer in shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old

When police in Salt Lake City, Utah, fatally shot 18-year-old Dillon Taylor earlier this year, many were left wondering if Taylor had to die.

A graphic 9-minute body camera video helped clear the three police officers involved of any wrongdoing. In the video, Taylor, who was mentally ill, appears to be raising his hands at police orders. He also reportedly said, “No, fool.” After the shooting, the officer who fired is heard saying, “He was reaching.”

The video has become newly relevant in light of a recent national push to get more police to wear body cameras. Supporters, including the family of Michael Brown, say they’ll make police think twice before using deadly force and hold them accountable when they do. But a Fusion investigation found body-camera evidence usually favors police officers, and there is little evidence they reduce police involved shootings or use of force incidents.

After a nearly two-month investigation, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined Taylor’s shooting to be legally justified.

Gill told Fusion the body camera video was “important and relevant” to make his decision.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include additional description of the video.

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