LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - The family of a Lakeland teen who was killed by officers say they've learned of new information that would not make December’s deadly shooting justifiable.
The officer-involved shooting occurred in the early-morning hours after Christmas. Initially, officers were called to disperse a crowd of 200 outside Salem’s Gyros & More restaurant in Lakeland. There, they noticed a suspected stolen vehicle in the packed parking lot.
Surveillance video shows officers walking toward the vehicle, but they said Taylor drove the car toward one of them, forcing them to fire their weapons. Taylor died following the shooting, and the State Attorney’s Office and Lakeland Police Department are still investigating the shooting.
Taylor’s family said the car was a rental that his friend failed to return on time. Taylor borrowed the car, they said.
The following statement was released by the family’s attorney, Michele Rayner-Goolsby.
“Michael Taylor’s case is a tragedy, and there is no way that this young man should have lost his life during this encounter if the responding officers had acted within protocol. The family is demanding the arrest and charging of Officers Markais Neal, Raj Patel and Joseph Novis and are asking for honesty and transparency in the investigation. They’re also demanding that the actual procedures and protocols to be introduced, including policies but not limited to, shooting into occupied vehicles.”