SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - Community members came out over the weekend to mark the three-month anniversary since a Black man was killed by police inside a San Leandro Walmart by painting a Black Lives Matter mural on the streets of the city.
The event to honor Steven Taylor was organized by a group of community members interested in racial equity and police reform. Dozens pulled out paintbrushes and stencils on Saturday to paint Parrott Street between E. 14th and Hays streets with the words: Black Lives Matter.
"We come together as a community looking for unity and change, and to demand justice," said one of the participants, Natasha Fernandez. "This mural is just one step in this ongoing process, and bringing it to our community on this day will be in honor of Steven’s life."
Taylor, 33, who suffered from mental health issues, was waving a bat inside the Walmart on Hesperian Boulevard April 18, when someone inside the store called 911. Two police officers arrived and ended up Tasing Taylor and shooting him with a gun. He died that day.
To date, the city has not released the names of the officers citing unspecific threats made against them.
KTVU and the American Civil Liberties Union have been trying to make those names public under a police transparency law, SB 1421. So far, those efforts have been unsuccessful.
Taylor's grandmother, Addie Kitchen, said that it was nice the city allowed the mural, but she asked aloud: "Does San Leandro really think that black lives matter?"
She said if they did, they would release the officers' names.
"They need to do more than just put a Black Lives Matter sign up," she said. "That's just a fad. My biggest hope and prayer is that no one else has to go through this, and no one is murdered because they are Black, mentally ill and homeless."
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: In contributing toward Steven Taylor's children and legal fees, click here.
"We demand justice" for Steven Taylor.
Steven Taylor's grandmother, Addie Kitchen, speaks at an event in San Leandro. July 18, 2020
Dozens of community members come out for Steven Taylor in San Leandro. July 18, 2020
An aerial view of the Black Lives Matter mural on Parrott Street in San Leandro. (Zachary Borja)