No winners in shooting video

Published 1:24 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

Watching the body cam video that was released last week showing the 15 seconds leading up to when PAPD Officer Aaron Taylor shot and killed Shayne Lyons on Dec. 28th, should make us all pause and think.

Toxicology reports received this week show the drug PCP in Lyons system. The reports also confirmed earlier suggestions that the cigarettes in his possession were laced with the drug as well.

Ultimately the lives of two families will be changed forever. I feel bad for both. One never plans this to be a part of their life. And one never knows how they will react if they are ever in an incident like this.

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I’m sure Lyons’ family never thought they would lose a loved one in such an incident. And I’m certain Officer Taylor, although trained for stressful situations, grew up dreaming of being a police officer, but prayed he’d never have to shoot anyone.

Lyons’ family continues to search for answers 2 1/2 months after the incident.

Taylor, who swore an oath to protect and serve, has to live the rest of his life knowing he took another human being’s life.

Inquisitive as we are as human beings, we wonder what happened, and why.

Why did Lyons continue to walk toward the officer with a machete, after being told multiple times to put it down?

Why does someone walk around with a machete anyway?

Were there drugs involved or not?

Why did Taylor fire eight rounds at Lyons?

Why did he not just fire at his leg?

What brought these two individuals on a collision path toward each other that fateful day?

Why did it take so long for the video to be released?

The questions can go on and on, many without receiving an answer. Especially those that have to do with Lyons’ mindset, God rest his soul. But we can put to rest the claims that drugs were not involved, because we now know they were.

What I do know it this.

As a licensed conceal-and-carry handgun holder in the state of Texas, if I am holding my handgun out, walking down the street, and a police officer tells me to stop and drop my weapon, I’m going to do it. Or take the chance of being shot myself.

Do as instructed, and none of this happens.

In concealed handgun training, we also learn some of what is taught to police officers. When confronted by a threatening situation, shoot until the threat is not a threat anymore.

This does not mean shoot the threat in the leg. Because, if by chance the threat is on some form of drug, a leg wound may not make them even flinch. And turn the scenario into one where you are likely to become the 15th homicide victim in the city of Port Arthur during 2018.

As for the delay in releasing the video, everyone wants to point fingers. “They must be hiding something”, people say, when information won’t be released. To be fair, the PAPD did want to release the video early on. But, truth-be-known, in a situation like this where it’s quite possible there will be a legal conflict, it may be imperative to keep evidence close to the vest.

To release or not is the decision of the city attorney who acts as

general counsel and advises city departments, of which the PAPD is one, on legal issues.

Was the right decision made early on to not share the video? I believe it was. That is, until it came time to share. Which I also believe was the right decision, when it was made later in the process.

As frustrating as it is, it does take time to unravel and find the truth in a situation where two individuals were involved, but only one can share their side.

Drugs destroy lives, plain and simple. They make people act in ways that they most definitely wouldn’t without them. But Taylor handled the incident at per his training, and was not at fault in this shooting.

Ultimately all we can do now is pray for those that live with the grief of losing a loved one, and pray for those that have to live with the fact that they took a life.


Rich Macke is publisher of The News.