Video surveillance cameras captured the moments before a rookie Texas police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager after responding to a burglary call at a car dealership.
The CCTV footage shows Christian Taylor, 19, wandering through a closed car dealership in Arlington and kicking in one windshield. Rookie Officer Brad Miller, 49, and his field training officer responded to the scene. The training officer tried subduing Taylor with a Taser, but Miller used deadly force.
The fatal shooting comes nearly one year after the nation was galvanized by the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man who posthumously spurred the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Police Chief Will Johnson said Miller was just finishing up his 16-week field training program when he responded to the call to the car dealership. The 49-year-old rookie had no police experience prior to joining the Arlington department, and it’s possible his lack of time on the job may have come into play here.
“The facts available today do not answer all questions, nor will they alleviate all concerns,” said Miller. “However, we will provide answers as they become available and address every concern throughout the investigative process.”
Taylor’s father, Adrian Taylor, questioned Miller’s actions, asking why he didn’t choose to use less-than-lethal force to subdue his unarmed son.
“What he’d done, ain’t no way right,” said Adrian Taylor. “But to shoot an unarmed man? You’re a police officer, you’re trained to take down men with your hands. You have your Tasers, you have your clubs, whatever there is. Unarmed, a 19-year-old – and you shoot to kill?”
Taylor’s father also shed some light on what kind of person he was, explaining that he oftentimes would go out of his way to help the homeless.
“A good dude, man,” the father said. “We’d be going over here to church and he’d pull over and give a homeless guy money, shoes if he needed and he’d have to go back home and get some more shoes because he gave his away. He was like that.”
Miller has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation into the shooting has been concluded.
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)