Dylan Noble, a 19-year-old motorcycle enthusiast, was the latest victim of police brutality in Fresno, CA. Dylan was speeding in the area of Shields and Armstrong, at the same time that FPD officers were responding to reports of pedestrian in the area armed with a rifle. When those officers noticed Dylan’s speeding truck they initiated a traffic stop, which ended with Dylan being shot multiple times.
Police stated that when they tried to pull Dylan over, he didn’t stop for a half of a mile. When you think about it, driving at 60 mph, it takes roughly 30 seconds to travel that distance and if Dylan was traveling at an excessive rate of speed you can discount a few more of those seconds. This is relatively the average time it takes for anyone to pull to the side of road, depending on traffic conditions. Regardless, a few extra seconds to pull over shouldn’t be a contributing factor for an officer to kill someone.
It was also reported that Dylan exited his vehicle with his hands behind his back. While possible, it is highly unlikely as Dylan was driving a modified Ford truck with some serious ground clearance. Climbing in and out of that beast takes at least two points of contact.
Police reported that Dylan yelled he hated his life before moving his hands toward the small of his back. While this cannot be confirmed without body camera footage, one of the favorite excuses used by police to avoid responsibility for their actions is “He reached for his waist band”, couple that with “I feared for my life” and you have an airtight defense against any accusations of excessive force.
Often times people will use phrases like “I hate my life” when forced to deal with circumstances that inconvenience them or cause them stress. An aggressive police interaction is definitely one of those times when it would be appropriate to use similar terminology. One cannot automatically assume it was a suicide by or that Dylan was suffering from mental health issues based on common phrases such as “fuck my life”, or “I hate my life”. These terms are used quite flippantly and rarely with any seriousness.
Both officers who have been described as veterans with over 10 years on the force have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
The Fresno police have also started trying to interrogate friends and family members prompting a request that no one talk to police. In situations like these it’s always better to provide the family and their attorney with any information available. The police are only looking to spin things in their favor.
On Sunday evening family and friends gathered at the intersection where Dylan was killed for a candlelight vigil, in order to mourn his death and celebrate his life. Subtract any vehicular irresponsibility and the gathering was peaceful until the police showed. As you can imagine, showing up to the candlelight vigil for the person you unjustly murdered the evening before, is in poor form and the sight of the police only sparked the emotions of everyone gathered.
The police fielded questions from press, but the nature of the questions appeared to stroke the police ego and demonize the actions of those assembled. One reporter asked if they considered the event a riot? Yet none of the mainstream media brought up Dylan Noble or the body camera footage that captured the incident.
Unsatisfied with the reporters job, I questioned Lt. Alvarez, the FPD’s on scene public information officer, about the potential release of the Dylan Noble body camera footage. He confirmed the police wore body cameras for transparency but went on to state that the body camera footage would not be released and any requests had to go through Chief Jerry Dyer. Are the tools of transparency failing , or is the Fresno police body camera program just designed to make us feel good without actually being effective at promoting transparency?
Please sign and share this Change.org petition started in order to pressure the department into releasing the footage to the public.
Please call the Fresno Police Department and demand that they release the body camera footage. Even if you aren’t from the area public pressure is important right now and it shows that more than just Fresno is watching this situation unfold.