Texas Police Officer Fired After Fatally Shooting Unarmed College Student

August 12, 2015

Days after a police officer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area city of Arlington fatally shot a young man at a car dealership, Arlington’s police chief says that Officer Brad Miller has been fired.

Protesters are calling for criminal charges and police reforms, citing what they call a pattern of violence. Demonstrators held a rally and a march Monday at which people held placards bearing the names of people who have died at the hands of police. Miller, 49, is white; he shot Christian Taylor, 19, who is black.

The shooting occurred in the early hours of Friday, after police received a 911 call from someone who said that “a ‘thin black man with a blond mohawk’ was seen jumping on the windshield of a gray Ford Mustang,” according to member station KERA.

That young man was Taylor, a football player at Angelo State University in West Texas. Police say security camera footage shows Taylor damaging vehicles on the lot and driving a car through the dealership’s glass doors. Taylor was shot multiple times after the officer, who was in training, confronted him in the car dealer’s showroom.

From Dallas, KERA’s Lauren Silverman reports:

“Rookie Officer Brad Miller was responding to a reported burglary when he shot Taylor on Friday. At first he was placed on administrative leave, but after reviewing the facts, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said that wasn’t enough.

” ‘Officer Miller exercised inappropriate judgment by entering the building alone,’ Johnson said, adding that the decision ‘created an environment of cascading consequences that produced an unrecoverable outcome.’

“Johnson says he has serious concerns about why the officer used deadly force. A decision about whether Miller’s actions were criminal though, he says, will be up to the district attorney.”

The police chief also relayed more of what happened that morning. The Dallas Morning News reports, “Johnson said at one point, Taylor and one officer talked to each other on either side of locked glass doors at the showroom. The officer said he told Taylor to surrender. Instead, Taylor held up a set of keys and said he was going to steal a car, police said.”

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