Dylan Noble, fatally shot by Fresno police, was drunk and had traces of cocaine in his body, autopsy shows
Warning: Video has graphic content. Body-camera footage released by the Fresno Police Dept. shows the June 25 shooting of Dylan Noble.
The unarmed 19-year-old man who was fatally shot in June by Fresno police — sparking protests and prompting the release of body-camera footage of the incident — had a blood-alcohol level well above the legal limit and traces of cocaine in his body, authorities said Tuesday.
The Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office declined to release the full autopsy of Dylan Noble, but spokesman Tony Botti said toxicology reports showed that Noble’s body had a blood-alcohol content of 0.12 — 1.5 times the legal limit of 0.8 — and a minuscule amount of the chemical Benzoylecgonine.
For the record:
12:18 PM, Aug. 18, 2019This article reports that Dylan Noble had a blood alcohol content of 0.12%, which was 1.5 times the legal limit of 0.8%. The legal limit is 0.08%.
Benzoylecgonine is one of the main compounds formed when the body metabolizes cocaine.
The shooting of Noble, a white man, gained national media attention and sent protesters to the streets of Fresno, some declaring “white lives matter” out of anger and grief. Noble’s parents have each filed a claim seeking compensation from the city for their son’s death.
The partial release of the toxicology results comes as local and federal authorities are investigating the June 25 incident, which began when officers searching for an armed suspect encountered Noble’s pickup.
Officers initiated a daytime traffic stop, and when Noble did not pull over, police pursued him.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer released video last month from the officers’ body-worn cameras.
The footage showed Noble leading police to a Chevron gas station where he stopped his truck. Officers parked a few yards behind him, and in the video, one officer is seen brandishing his gun on the steering wheel — a decision the officer made because he believed the pickup driver was armed, Dyer said.
As soon as Noble’s truck is parked, an officer is heard yelling: “Turn off the truck. Get your hands out the window. Both hands out the window.” Later, an officer screams: “Let me see both your hands.… Get both your hands out.”
Noble exited the truck and approached, then retreated from the officers. Police called for backup, and officers gave about 30 commands for Noble to show his hands, lift his hands or lie on the ground, Dyer said.
Noble defied officers’ orders and carried an object in his right hand that officers believed could be a weapon, Dyer said. He yelled that he hated his life.
One officer shot him twice, and Noble fell to the ground, rolled over and was seen moving his hands under his shirt. The officer fired a third round, and another officer fired a fourth round after about 12 seconds.
Cellphone video from a witness showed only the final two gunshots and sparked the initial wave of protests.
An internal inquiry as well as one by the Fresno County district attorney’s office are underway. The prosecutors’ probe is expected to be completed by the end of August.
The chief auditor of the police department, Richard Rasmussen, called on police officials last week to try to expedite the investigations into police shootings, saying such cases should go “to the top of their work pile.”
“The citizens of every municipality deserve to know that their employees are doing this very dangerous job correctly,” Rasmussen wrote in his report.
“Waiting for toxicology or some other test is not nearly as important as resolving a case wherein two officers acted quickly and decisively, taking a citizen’s life. Test results that may lend insight into the actions of the suspect are not nearly as important as informing the public that FPD officers acted properly.”
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