Texas Cop Who Killed Unarmed College Football Player Fired (Updated)
Arlington police officer Brad Miller, the 49-year-old rookie who shot and killed a 19-year-old college football player inside a Ford car dealership Friday, was fired today – an unprecedented move that is outraging many on social media.
“This is a extraordinarily difficult case,” Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson told the Dallas Morning News. “Decisions were made that have catastrophic outcome.”
Johnson made his announcement during a press conference this afternoon, saying that contrary to initial reports that stated there was “an altercation” between officers and Taylor before he was shot, there was actually no physical contact between him or any officer.
Apparently, Miller drew his gun and fired when he should have deployed his taser.
According to WIAT:
Called to the scene of a suspected burglary early Friday morning, Miller pursued 19-year-old Christian Taylor through the broken glass doors of a car dealership showroom without telling his supervising officer, Johnson said.
Instead of helping to set 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 7 to 10 feet away from the officer, Johnson said. After Taylor continued to approach, Miller fired his gun three more times.
According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth:
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson on Tuesday he’s troubled by some of the actions officer Brad Miller took while responding to a reported burglary at a car dealership early Friday morning.
Johnson said the officer should not have approached the 19-year-old burglary suspect alone.
Johnson said Miller shot Christian Taylor when Taylor began to advance toward the officer. But the chief said there was no physical contact between the officer and Taylor before Taylor was shot
According to the New York Times:
Chief Will Johnson of the Arlington police said that the officer, Brad Miller, 49, had been fired for the “inappropriate judgment” in the fatal shooting of Christian Taylor, 19. Chief Johnson said Officer Miller had entered the building without his partner, leading to an “an environment of cascading consequences.”
Police had said that Mr. Taylor was shot about 1 a.m. Friday as he tried to flee from officers who had been dispatched to the Arlington dealership after reports of a suspected burglary. The Tarrant County medical examiner found that Mr. Taylor had gunshot wounds to his neck, chest and abdomen.
At a news conference, Chief Johnson said Tuesday that Mr. Miller made bad decisions in communicating with other officers and initially approaching Mr. Taylor on his own without a plan for arrest. There were other officers on scene, the chief told reporters, including Mr. Miller’s training officer, who tried to use a Taser to subdue the suspect.
“Based on a preponderance of evidence available to me and facts revealed by the investigative team, I have decided to terminate Officer Miller’s employment with the Arlington Police Department for exercising poor judgment,” Chief Johnson told a news conference.
However, the investigation is still open, so there is still the possibility that Miller may face criminal charges.
Johnson has vowed to maintain a transparent investigation, which is something we frequently hear, only for it to be just talk.
However, the chief did release the entire dispatch audio Monday to disprove allegations that the shooting took place one second after they spotted Taylor. That audio can be heard in the second video below, underneath the surveillance video that shows Taylor damaging a car.
The third video below is from his press conference Saturday. We will post today’s press conference as soon as the department or another news agency posts it.
Apparently, there is more video that has not been released, perhaps of the shooting itself.
But as it is now, many commenters on Facebook are accusing the chief of throwing Miller under the bus, saying that Taylor deserved to be shot and killed because he was caught on camera committing a crime.
Taylor played defensive back for Angelo State University.
UPDATE: Below is the video of today’s press conference as well as a video containing the audio of the 911 call from that night, which pushes the rest of the videos down.