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Former officer pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal Walmart shooting

Retired San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher entered a not guilty plea Thursday morning in Oakland to criminal charges in the death of a man at a Walmart store in April of last year.

Fletcher was charged in September with voluntary manslaughter for shooting Steven Taylor to death on the afternoon of April 18, 2020, after Taylor allegedly tried to shoplift a bat and a tent from the store.

Fewer than 40 seconds passed between the time Fletcher entered the store and the time he shot and killed Taylor.

The charges against Fletcher are the first against a police officer by District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in her time as Alameda County’s top prosecutor.

O’Malley has recently decided not to run for re-election. Attorneys for Fletcher were not immediately available for comment late Thursday morning.

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