Bayview helped suspect in ‘05; officers say he stalked gang turf with AK-47 Monday
When police shot, then arrested, a teenager in the Bayview district last year, outraged residents raised money for his bail. On Monday, the young man was arrested again in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle, according to police.
Tyrell Taylor was 18 when police shot him five times on Sept. 9, 2005. Officers said he fired a rifle at them immediately before the police shooting, but witnesses at the time said he was empty-handed and running away.
He was arrested after the shooting and charged with five gun and drug felonies, including an attempted murder charge, which was later dropped.
Monday night, police in the Bayview said they arrested Taylor, now 19,with an AK-47 assault rifle. Police say Taylor is a gang member and was in rival territory.
As The City battles a rising violent crime rate, police officials and union members say courts continually let repeat criminals back on the street. Child advocacy groups, meanwhile, say not enough city money is being spent on programs to help the most vulnerable populations of teenagers avoid falling into a cycle of violence.
Public outcry followed Taylor’s arrest when witnesses reported to media that Taylor had been unarmed when police shot him. Mesha Monge-Irizarry, who heads the Idriss Stelley Foundation, spearheaded a move to raise the $15,000 needed to post Taylor’s $150,000 bail.
“I’m floored by what happened with Tyrell. It’s hard when we fight for the kids and we see them fall back again,” Monge-Irizarry said Tuesday, after hearing of Taylor’s arrest. She maintains, however, that his shooting was unjustified.
“If someone is running and there’s no weapon in their hands, how the hell are you going to shoot them five times?” she said.
Taylor’s arrest Monday comes at a time when Bayview residents “had been reporting hearing shots on almost a daily basis,” San Francisco police Inspector Len Broberg, of the Gang Task Force, said. The Bayview Station has increased patrols in the area as a result of the ongoing violence.
At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, Broberg said, police saw three suspicious men, including Taylor, between two buildings near Harbor and Northridge roads, Broberg said. When officers approached, they said they noticed Taylor was holding an AK-47. Officers chased Taylor on foot and caught up with him in the crawlspace of a nearby apartment where he was not a tenant.
“This comes as no shock to me. These are recidivist criminals. … For a community group to help him with bail is despicable,” Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes said Tuesday. “That’s why it’s so hard to hire and keep cops in this town.”
Since he was bailed out last year, Taylor has been arrested several times on charges of trespassing on San Francisco Housing Authority property “in the company of known gang members,” Broberg said. Once, his own mother called to report him for trespassing, Broberg said.
In 2002, Taylor was one of four teenagers, aged 12 to 14, who were roughly searched by police in the Bayview on Martin Luther King Day. That incident sparked outcry in The City’s African-American community and led to several police disciplinary investigations.