The San Leandro City Council has proclaimed April 18 as Steven Taylor and Sanctity of Life Day, following the killing of Taylor last year by a former San Leandro police officer.

Former officer Jason Fletcher shot Taylor, a man of color, within a minute of arriving at the Walmart at 15555 Hesperian Blvd. on April 18, 2020.

Fletcher has been charged with voluntary manslaughter by Alameda County prosecutors.

“Proclaiming a day for Steven Taylor will promote the ongoing process of healing and understanding as we focus on the ongoing work of dismantling systemic racism,” San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter said in a statement.

Councilmembers on Wednesday voted 6-0 in favor of the proclamation with Councilmember Pete Ballew out sick.

A report on constructing a park to honor Taylor was also heard by the council.

“This resolution, similar to the park, is a small step in helping us heal,” said Councilmember Fred Simon before the vote.

Taylor was 33 years old and a San Leandro High School graduate. He allegedly tried to shoplift a bat and tent from the Walmart when store security stopped and asked him to return the items.

Security called police and Fletcher was the first to arrive.

Police did not respond to a request for comment on the City Council’s resolution. But city officials said they and police have been working to reduce the excessive force used by police.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.