Officer fired over shooting of unarmed Texas athlete. Is that enough?

12 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arlington police fire officer involved in fatal shooting of Texas teen (+video).

The Arlington, Texas police department has fired Officer Brad Miller after he fatally shot college football player Christian Taylor during a suspected burglary at a local car dealership early Friday. We are both losers.” On Tuesday, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said Miller had made mistakes during the incident that necessitated his firing, according to the Associated Press.

Miller pursued 19-year-old Christian Taylor through the broken glass doors of a car dealership showroom without telling his supervising officer, Chief Johnson said. Taylor’s killing came just two days before the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, the black 18-year-old fatally shot Aug. 9, 2014, by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. He added that he and his family were primarily concerned with burying Christian, not holding Miller to account. “We’ll deal with that when the time comes,” he said of the possibility that Miller could be criminally charged for the killing. He told the Guardian that he only learned the details of Christian’s death through a series of leaked video and audio clips, some of them reportedly obtained and released by the hacking group Anonymous. The training officer heard a single pop of what he thought was Miller’s Taser, but Miller actually had drawn his service weapon and fired it at Taylor, who is believed to have been 7 to 10 feet away from the officer, Johnson said.

On Tuesday, Taylor told The Washington Post that he still had no answers as to why his son had spent his last moments smashing cars and store windows at an Arlington car dealership. “I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know any more information than anybody else in the world,” he said. “We were hoping of finding out some more information because that [person in the video] was not my son.” Surveillance videos from the incident show Christian Taylor pulling up to the Classic Buick GMC car dealership on Friday at about 1 a.m. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back then left his own car and began wandering around the dealership’s parking lot before smashing the windows of several vehicles. A security guard called the cops, and when six Arlington police arrived they discovered Taylor had driven his car through the dealership’s window and entered its showroom on foot.

While five of the officers remained outside of the showroom, Miller, a 49-year-old rookie who was still on probation and had no previous policing experience, pursued Taylor inside. Before his final confrontation with Miller, Taylor allegedly held up a set of car keys and told another officer that he intended to steal a car, Johnson said. While he said he had “serious concerns” about Miller’s use of deadly force, Johnson said it would be up to a grand jury to decide whether Miller’s actions were criminal. While the FBI’s Dallas field office said Monday that it was deferring any investigation to local authorities, Johnson said he was in contact with FBI officials about the case. “Although the investigation is not over, my hope is that the information shared today can assist in the healing process,” Johnson said. “Some communities and our nation have been torn apart by similar challenges.”

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