The family of Dillon Taylor has filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City. Taylor was a 20-year-old Salt Lake City man who was shot and killed by a Salt Lake City Police officer outside a convenience store last summer. The lawsuit also names individual police officers involved in the incident.
Dillon Taylor’s aunt Gina Thayne is hoping to change what she says is a broken police culture that begins in the early stages of training.
“I think law enforcement is out of control and I believe that their training is really bizarre and it creates and invincibility and an arrogance about them and I believe that they’re taking that out on the public,” Thayne says.
Thayne says her nephew’s constitutional rights were not the only rights violated the day he was shot by Salt Lake City Police Officer Bron Cruz. Cruz says he believed Taylor was reaching for a gun before he shot him outside a Seven/Eleven in South Salt Lake. The complaint says after Officer Cruz had killed Taylor, Taylor’s brother Jerrail Taylor and his cousin Adam Thayne were taken into custody and interrogated.
“No crime, no weapons, no threats, but all of this happened. It’s not okay,” Thayne says.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says he extends his sympathy to the Taylor family, but on Wednesday night during a debate with his mayoral challenger Jackie Biskupski he said he has reason to believe the officer feared for his safety.
“We have an internal investigation,” Becker says. “We have an independent civilian review board that is staffed outside of the police department. And the district attorney gets involved. All three of those in all of the Salt Lake City shootings concluded that force was justified.”
South Salt Lake Officials have so far declined to comment on the lawsuit.