Chief fires Texas of­fi­cer who killed un­armed 19-year-old

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY EMILY SCH­MALL

A po­lice of­fi­cer who killed an un­armed col­lege football player dur­ing a sus­pected bur­glary at a Texas car deal­er­ship was fired Tues­day for mak­ing mis­takes that the city’s po­lice chief said caused a deadly con­fronta­tion that put him and other of­fi­cers in dan­ger.

Ar­ling­ton of­fi­cer Brad Miller, 49, could also face crim­i­nal charges once po­lice com­plete their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Po­lice Chief Will John­son said.

Chris­tian Tay­lor’s death came two days be­fore the an­niver­sary of the death of Michael Brown, an un­armed, black 18-year-old who was fa­tally shot by a white po­lice of­fi­cer in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri. Brown’s death helped spur protests and a na­tion­wide “Black Lives Mat­ter” move­ment to de­mand re­forms to how po­lice treat mi­nori­ties.

Called to the scene of a sus­pected bur­glary early Fri­day morn­ing, Miller pur­sued 19-yearold Chris­tian Tay­lor through the bro­ken glass doors of a car deal­er­ship show­room with­out telling his su­per­vis­ing of­fi­cer, John­son said.

In­stead of set­ting up a perime­ter around the show­room, Miller con­fronted Tay­lor and or­dered him to get down on the ground, John­son said. Tay­lor did not com­ply. In­stead, he be­gan “ac­tively ad­vanc­ing to­ward Of­fi­cer Miller,” John­son said.

Miller’s field train­ing of­fi­cer, who had fol­lowed Miller into the show­room, drew his own Taser. 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 2.1 to 3 me­ters away, John­son said. Af­ter Tay­lor con­tin­ued to ap­proach, Miller fired his gun three more times.

“De­ci­sions were made that had cat­a­strophic out­comes,” John­son said.

“This is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily dif­fi­cult case,” John­son said. “De­ci­sions were made that have cat­a­strophic out­comes.”

The Ar­ling­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Pa­trol­man’s As­so­ci­a­tion is­sued a state­ment Tues­day night de­cry­ing John­son’s de­ci­sion. The group said it sup­ports “Miller’s right to be judged fairly and com­pletely on facts in­stead of a snap­shot de­vel­oped in only days,” and also ex­pressed sym­pa­thy for Tay­lor’s fam­ily.

“We again ask that cit­i­zens obey the com­mands of po­lice of­fi­cers in or­der to pre­vent these tragedies from oc­cur­ring in the fu­ture,” the as­so­ci­a­tion said.

An at­tor­ney for Miller did not have an im­me­di­ate com­ment on John­son’s an­nounce­ment. Tay­lor’s fam­ily did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Tay­lor, who was black, was a grad­u­ate of an Ar­ling­ton high school and a football player at An­gelo State Univer­sity in West Texas. Miller is white.

At a protest Tues­day night out­side the Ar­ling­ton po­lice head­quar­ters, about 60 de­mon­stra­tors de­manded that Miller be charged with a crime.

The fir­ing was “not enough jus­tice,” said Matthew Higgins, 20, one of Tay­lor’s for­mer high school class­mates. “If it was a white per­son, it prob­a­bly would have been dif­fer­ent.

There is no video of the shoot­ing it­self, though se­cu­rity cam­era footage from Clas­sic Buick GMC deal­er­ship’s park­ing lots shows Tay­lor walk­ing around and dam­ag­ing some ve­hi­cles.

AP

Ra­mon Me­jia writes with chalk on the side­walk out­side the Ar­ling­ton Po­lice Depart­ment dur­ing a vigil for Chris­tian Tay­lor in Ar­ling­ton, Texas, Mon­day, Aug. 10.

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