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SEATTLE - King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said his office will not file criminal charges against two Seattle police officers who fatally shot a 46-year-old African-American man last year.
Satterberg said at a news conference Tuesday that the officers, who are white, reasonably believed their lives were in danger when they shot Che Taylor in February 2016. He says "their use of deadly force at that moment was authorized by law."
"I find that the officers had probable cause to believe Mr. Taylor was armed with a firearm," Satterberg said at a press conference Tuesday morning. "I also find that as they confronted Mr. Taylor, they had reason to believe he was reaching for his gun."
"The question about whether these officers should be, can or should be criminally charged and punished with a prison sentence for this, I don't think this is a particularly close case," he said.
Taylor's family was offended by the "close case" comment.
"[Satterberg] is sending the message to the community that even if you comply, you die!" said Andre Taylor, Che's brother. "I'm insulted that he would say that, that it wasn't even close."
Taylor's family held a press conference immediately after the prosecutor's announcement. The family called the killing unjust and said police should be held accountable. They plan on filing a civil suit against the officers but did not want to go into details.
A King County inquest jury last month found that the officers had reason to fear for their lives.
The officers shot Taylor while trying to arrest him as a felon in unlawful possession of a firearm.