SEATTLE (AP) — Civil rights leaders are condemning the fatal shooting of a black man by Seattle police and said Tuesday they have hired a law firm to investigate.
Seattle-King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson disputed the police account of the shooting that killed Che Taylor, 47. Hankerson said Taylor was trying to comply with police orders when he was shot, the Seattle Times reported.
"It was clear to me that they (police) came with the intent to kill, not arrest," he said at a news conference Tuesday.
Taylor, who also went by the name Marvin Hunter, was a violent felon legally prohibited from possessing a handgun, police said. His criminal history includes convictions for assault, robbery and rape.
Hankerson said whatever Taylor did "in his life before, this is irrelevant to us." He blasted the media for not mentioning Taylor was also a father and husband.
Police have said they were conducting surveillance Sunday afternoon in north Seattle when they saw a man with a holstered handgun and determined it was Taylor.
When an officer approached his vehicle to take Taylor into custody, authorities said he didn't obey commands to show his hands and get on the ground.
Instead, officers and a civilian witness said he reached for his gun and officers fired on him.
Taylor was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died. He was carrying crack cocaine and black tar heroin, police said.
Officers booked one of the other people in the vehicle into the King County Jail for possession of suspected heroin.
Police released a video from a patrol car that shows what happened during the shooting. But Taylor's movements are somewhat obscured by a white Ford Taurus.
Police say detectives found Taylor's gun.
The two officers who fired their weapons were identified Tuesday as Michael Spaulding and Scott Miller. Both were hired in 2008 and are now on paid leave.
Authorities are still investigating.