Police released surveillance video from a car dealership that shows the moments before Christian Taylor, an unarmed black college football player, was shot by a rookie cop in Arlington, Texas. The video, which is clearly edited, shows how 19-year-old Taylor wandered around a dealership’s lot, tried to open car doors and kicked in the windshield of a vehicle and getting into the car. He then can be seen getting out of the car and back into his SUV, which he apparently drives through the dealership’s glass window. A few moments later, police can be seen walking into the parking lot.
Rookie cop Brad Miller fired four shots during what officials described as an altercation with Taylor. The other officer who was with Miller used his Taser, although it’s unclear who fired first. Arlington police Chief Will Johnson said Taylor ignored the officers calls to get down on the ground and he tried to escape through a locked door. “Johnson repeatedly refused to describe the confrontation or say how close Taylor was to either officer before Miller opened fire,” notes local ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.
The Arlington Police Department has asked the FBI to help in the investigation of Taylor’s death. “Equally important to the investigative process is an acknowledgment that this instance has not occurred in isolation, but rather ... as our nation has been wrestling with topics of social injustice, inequities, racism and police misconduct,” Johnson said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “We recognize the importance of these topics, the impact these issues have in communities throughout our nation, and pledge to act in a transparent manner in an effort to alleviate these concerns.”
Miller, 49, had completed the police academy and was a fully licensed officer but was still finishing a 16-week field-training program. He had never fired his gun before while on duty. “His work history is unclear,” notes the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “State records show his name, with the corresponding address, listed as an executive with two businesses, one of which was a Web hosting service that is now dormant.”