Man who witnessed deadly officer-involved shooting describes what he saw

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 1:03 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A man who witnessed Sunday night’s (April 23) deadly officer-involved shooting on Mansfield Road in Shreveport spoke to KSLA’s Domonique Benn Tuesday morning about what he saw.

Elbert Powell says that night, he was headed to his mom’s house to celebrate his birthday the next day. He was coming from the direction of Woodlawn Academy when he saw that police had pulled someone over.

He says police sat behind the pulled over car for a few minutes waiting for backup before two other patrol units pulled up. Powell says as the officers got out of the car to approach the one they’d pulled over, the man inside, later identified as Joseph Dewayne Taylor, 33, tried to open the door and run out.

Powell says that’s when one of the officers slammed Taylor to the ground. He says the other two officers joined in, and all four people were tussling on the ground. Powell believes police had Taylor on his back when he saw shots fired. Powell says he heard five or six shots. He believes the female officer who was on-scene is the one who fired the first shot.

Powell goes on to say he didn’t see if Taylor had a weapon or not, but that he was swinging at officers. He says after the shots were fired, officers stood around Taylor and called for EMS. He says it took about five to seven minutes for EMS personnel to get there, but that he thinks Taylor was already dead at that point.

Taylor was known in the community as “Peanut,” Powell says.

Powell describes Taylor as a good person who worked hard to have nice things.

“I felt he [Taylor] wasn’t in the wrong and it was the police fault,” Powell said. “It could’ve went a better way than what it did.”

When asked if, as a Black man, he’s afraid of police, Powell replied, “Afraid? Yes ma’am. That shocked me for the rest of my life.”

“I just wish for justice,” Powell said.

Powell’s video of what happened that night has been widely circulated on social media.