The Arlington, Texas police trainee that shot and killed an unarmed college football player last week has been fired according to the department’s chief. Brad Miller, a 49-year-old recruit officer that was responding to a break-in at a car dealership, gunned down 19-year-old Christian Taylor but did so by violating some set procedures.
The announcement of Miller’s firing was made Tuesday by Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson at a press conference. Chief Johnson shared details of what transpired in the wee hours on August 7 at the Classic Buick GMC dealership, and how Taylor eventually lost his life as reported by the Dallas Morning News.
From the Morning News:
Johnson cited several examples of poor judgment in the incident as reasons for Officer Brad Miller’s termination. He said he made the decision after receiving a briefing from investigators Tuesday morning and the decision was his alone.
“This is a extraordinarily difficult case,” Johnson said. “Decisions were made that have a catastrophic outcome.”
Miller’s poor judgement in tactics in the shooting officially led to his firing, but the fact that Taylor was shot and killed played a role in the chief’s decision, police spokesman Christopher Cook said.
Since Miller was still in field training at the time of the shooting, he cannot appeal the firing.
Taylor, a football player at Angelo State University, was seen in video footage breaking a window of one of the vehicles and displaying other destructive behavior.
According to several reports, Taylor allegedly told approaching officers that he was at the dealership to steal a vehicle and held up a pair of keys. Taylor was also accused of ramming his vehicle through the showroom display doors as well.
Chief Johnson was especially critical of Miller entering the dealership alone and putting himself and other officers at risk. Miller reportedly fired four shots amid some chatter that the pair scuffled inside the showroom.
The Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association issued a following statement supporting Officer Miller and affirming his right to be judged “fairly and completely on facts.”
An investigation of all evidence in the matter is underway.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News| PHOTO CREDIT: Joseph Devenney/Getty