On Wednesday, July 13, Fresno Police released body camera video of an office-involved shooting that killed 19-year-old Dylan Noble. The following is a summary of events leading up to July 13’s release of the video.
On June 25, Fresno Police received a call about a person armed with a rifle or a shotgun, in the area of Clinton and Clovis. When officers responded, they came across Noble, who was allegedly speeding and after about a half mile of being followed, stopped at a gas station.
Noble’s description did not match those of the suspect, and Noble was unarmed.
“The officer was giving commands to the individual to show his hands not knowing whether or not he was the person that was called, the individual would not show his right hand,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Dyer said Noble eventually stepped out and walked away from officers without showing his hands.
“Then he started rapidly walking towards the officers and made a comment, ‘I hate my life,’ and then pulled his hand quickly, and that’s when the officer fired,” Dyer said.
During a gathering of Noble’s friends at the gas station on June 26, some expressed doubts over what Dyer said.
“I strongly disbelieve that Dylan said anything about hating life, I would bet my own life on that,” Alex Garvin said. Garvin was a friend of Noble.
On July 6, a video that captures part of the deadly shooting was released by a law firm representing Noble’s father. The video only shows part of what happened, with the crucial seconds leading up to the first shots being fired not seen.
The video was also released, on the very day the family held a private memorial service for Noble.
The video is shot from behind the wall of the gas station. The identity of the person who shot the video is unknown.
On the video, officers can be heard shouting commands at Noble, who was already on the ground. Then, a shot was heard, and then more shouting, as officers still have their guns drawn.
Then, another shot.
Noble can be heard in the video saying, “I’ve been shot.”
Noble was hit a total of four times.
Dyer said video from police body cameras will show the entire incident, including Noble refusing to show his hands and making a threatening gesture.
“It does not show him reaching with his left hand lifting up his shirt and placing his right hand into his waistband when the officers are yelling for him not to do that and show his hands,” Dyer said.
At the time, Dyer said the department will release the body camera video in its entirety once the department’s investigation into the shooting is complete. Dyer said at the time he believes releasing the officer’s body cam video would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.
On July 8, Noble’s family spoke for the first time on the incident. The family said in their belief, Noble did not have a death wish, demanded an independent investigation of the incident to be conducted by an outside agency, and demanded to see police bodycam video of the incident.
Noble’s mother, Veronica Nelson, also issued a statement on the incident. The statement reads:
I’m outraged that the police would shoot my son and then say that it was his fault – that he wanted to die. How dare you! Everyone needs to know that Dylan was not depressed. He was not suicidal, He did not want to die.
– Veronica Nelson, Mother of Dylan Noble
On July 12, a law firm representing Noble’s family has filed a Claim for Damages with the City of Fresno, in connection to the incident.
In a statement, lawyer Stuart R. Chandler said:
After viewing the police bodycam videos last Friday, and conferring with experts, I am more certain than ever that the shooting death of Dylan Noble was the result of an inexcusable use of excessive force. The City of Fresno must be held full accountable to his family – and for that matter to the community – for this tragic loss of life.
According to documents filed with the City of Fresno, Chandler claimed that the incident originated with a call to police that an individual dressed in a long sleeve shirt and camouflage jacket was walking in the area of Clovis and Clinton, carrying a rifle or shotgun.
Chandler claimed that Noble was wearing a short sleeve shirt at the time of the incident, had no camouflage jacket or clothing on, and was not a pedestrian. Chandler also claimed Noble did not match the description of the person police were pursuing, and that Noble was unarmed.
In addition, Chandler claimed that police officers did not have any objectively reasonable basis to shoot Noble, noting that at no time did officers use or attempted to use Police K-9 or Taser devices.
According to documents, the claim will not be a limited liability civil case.
On that same day, Mark Standriff with the City of Fresno issued a brief statement to the Claim for Damages that was filed, saying:
Our policy is to refrain from discussing any pending claim or litigation.