SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) — The San Leandro City Council is moving forward with plans to build a memorial named after Steven Taylor, who was shot and killed by a San Leandro police officer in last April.
At a February 16 council meeting, Councilmember Fred Simon presented one of the leading design concepts, a stone column surrounded by stone markers, each representing a different virtue.READ MORE: COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Indoor Dining, Gyms Open For 1st Time Since December After Shift To Red Tier
“Number one is reflection, two…remembrance, healing, justice, learning, empathy, strength and caring,” said Simon. ”We want to heal our community, we want to unite our community, and I feel we’re having really difficulty getting our normal work done until we could solve this problem.”
The early stone column design would be located on the jetty of the small boat lagoon near the marina. All the councilmembers present during the meeting expressed support for the project, including Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter, who wanted to see more community input on the design.
“But to some people, they will really take to heart the effort that was put into it and to acknowledge the feelings that some in our community are having about this. And I think that’s really what it’s about. It’s about being heard,” said Cutter.READ MORE: COVID: Swollen Lymph Nodes After Vaccination Could Lead To False Breast Cancer Diagnosis, UCSF Doctors Say
Taylor was shot and killed while undergoing a mental health issue on April 18, 2020, at the Walmart at 15555 Hesperian Blvd., after he was seen on video swinging a bat and threatening customers.
San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher shot and killed Taylor approximately 40 seconds after arriving on the scene. Fletcher has retired from the department and will be tried March 10 for voluntary manslaughter. The entire incident was captured on the officer’s body cam video.
Councilmember Simon worked with Taylor’s family on the stone column design concept. Addie Kitchen, Taylor’s grandmother and longtime community activist, did not want a statue of Taylor, but instead sought to broaden the symbolism of the memorial to include all victims killed at the hands of police.
“And not only for Steven, but for all of the people that have been murdered by San Leandro Police throughout the years. He’s not the first, and he will not be the last if we don’t do something about what’s going on in our cities,” said Kitchen.MORE NEWS: Basketball Star Jeremy Lin Speaks Out About Attacks On Asian Americans, Racism On Court
The project has been handed off to staff for further study and analysis. There is no established timeline or budget, but Councilmember Simon hoped to finish the project within 15 months.