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Dylan Noble OIS - Internal Investigation Findings

Community trust and the use of force by police has become a focal point
within the policing profession and in communities across America.
The shooting of Dylan Noble on June 25, 2016, has generated a great deal
of community interest, concern and debate not only locally, but across this
nation. The criminal investigation was completed approximately 2
months ago and is in the final phase of the review process by the district
attorneys office. The criminal investigation took longer than I had
anticipated due to a number of factors to include the inability to timely
interview certain witnesses, as well as the need for the DA to obtain items
of evidence collected by the FBI that our department was not able to
Since the completion of the criminal investigation, the departments Internal
Affairs Bureau has conducted an administrative investigation which has
been reviewed by me and my staff. Today, I will share the results of this
internal investigation into Dylan Nobles death.
It is important to remember that officers were initially responding to a call of
a man with a gun in the area of Clinton and Fowler. With the limited
information provided to the officers by the reporting party, officers began
searching the area for any possible involved persons. Nearby, officers
observed a truck accelerate quickly from an intersection while spinning its
tires. After witnessing a blatant traffic violation and not knowing whether
this vehicle was related to the call they were on, officers attempted to stop
the vehicle to further investigate. The truck, later determined to be driven
by Dylan Noble, did not immediately pull over, despite the officers
activating the vehicles emergency lights and siren. Eventually Noble did
pull over into a convenience store parking lot.
During the initial contact, the interaction between the officers and Dylan
Noble was captured on video by the officers body worn camera. This video
clearly demonstrated that from the moment officers first made contact with
Noble, he failed to obey the repeated commands by officers, and did
everything in his power to make the officers believe he was concealing a
firearm and preparing to use it on the officers.
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Dylan Nobles comment that he hated his life as he walked toward the
officers, suddenly reaching behind his back, further caused officers to
believe he was retrieving a firearm.
Despite their fears, officers made repeated attempts to resolve the situation
peacefully by giving a multitude of verbal commands and warningsbut
Dylan Noble failed to cooperate with their attempts at de-escalation.
Instead, Dylan Nobles refusal to comply with numerous orders to show his
hands only served to increase the officers suspicion that he was armed
and presented an immediate threat to their safety.
The first officer to fire his weapon reasonably believed that Dylan Noble
was drawing a handgun from his rear waistband and that the officer was in
danger of being shot. A frame-by-frame review of the officers body
camera footage revealed that after being shot and falling to the ground,
Dylan Noble rolled over onto his back within 4 seconds, which indicated he
was still conscious and had control over his motor functions.
Despite officers continued orders and at times, pleading, Dylan Noble still
refused to show his hands. Within 3 seconds of rolling over onto his back,
Dylan Nobles right hand reached under his shirt, into the area of his
waistband. Believing that Noble was retrieving a handgun, the officers
reasonably feared for their safety and the safety of numerous citizens who
were standing nearby in the convenience store parking lot. It is at this time
that the officer who fired the first two rounds fired a third round at Noble.
Although Dylan Noble was on the ground when the third round was fired,
the extent of his injuries was not known by the officers. Noble was still
making deliberate reaching movements towards his waistband area within
a relatively short time after falling to the ground in a rapidly evolving
During the next 14 seconds, Dylan Noble still refused to follow orders to
show his hands when the fourth and final round was fired after Noble
deliberately put his hand under his shirt in what appeared to be another
attempt to retrieve a weapon. This moment in time was clearly captured in
a still photo extracted from officers body camera footage and will be shown

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I recognize that time and distance can become distorted during a stressful
incident, however it is my belief after reviewing all of the evidence in this
case, that 14 seconds provided sufficient time to the officer to consider and
employ other potential alternatives which may have minimized the need for
the fourth and final round to be fired. Having said that the fact remains that
Dylan Noble did pose an immediate threat to officers and nearby citizens
when the fourth and final round was fired.
We must remember the law requires us to judge officers use of deadly
force based solely on what the officers knew at the time they used the
force, taking into consideration they are making split-second decisions
under tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances. Following a
thorough and objective investigation, a preponderance of evidence was
established finding that the use of deadly force by the officers against
Dylan Noble was objectively reasonable and within Fresno Police
Department policy pursuant to the framework established by the US
Supreme Court.
Although the 9th circuit court of appeals states that officers are not required
to use the least intrusive alternative, as the police chief I hold our officers to
a higher standard. As such I have determined that the officer who fired the
fourth and final round did not use appropriate tactics in addressing the
threat presented by Dylan Noble during the 14 second period between the
3rd and 4th gunshots. Although Dylan Noble still presented a threat during
that period, the threat had diminished to the point where other potential
alternatives could have been pursued by the officer before Noble
deliberately reached under his clothing for the last time.

Appropriate corrective action is taken by me when it is determined an

officer has committed violations of Department rules and regulations.
However, pursuant to California Penal Code section 832.7, I am prohibited
from disclosing to the public or the media the specific details of corrective
action taken against these officers.
In addition to these findings, and as a result of the initial Officer Involved
Shooting Review Committee process other areas of concern were identified
that need to be addressed through training, equipment, and the
modification of policy.
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First, all sworn department members, including the involved officers, will
undergo additional training on high-risk traffic stops, to include how to
safely approach a wounded suspect and alternatives to be considered
when addressing a diminished threat.
In addition, department procedure for deploying K9s on possibly armed
subjects is being reviewed and researched to ensure department policy is
consistent with best practices in law enforcement.
Lastly, all Department shotguns and rifles will be equipped with a sling in
order to allow officers to more easily transition from the use of a shotgun or
long rifle, to a less lethal alternative, should the need arise.
Officer involved shootings have sparked protests across the country and
soul-searching among many police chiefs, myself included. Concern over
such incidents has jeopardized relationships between the community and
the police, and if left unaddressed, such concerns have the potential to
undermine the trust law enforcement must have from its citizens.
It is my hope that by sharing the Police Departments review of incidents
such as this, that we can continue to build a better understanding of all of
the perspectives involved for the purpose of enhancing trust.

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