Police Officer Brad Miller Fired For "Poor Judgment" In Fatal Shooting Of Christian Taylor
On Tuesday, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said that Brad Miller, the Texas police officer who shot Christian Taylor, has been fired. Miller, who is white, was a rookie officer who was completing the last stages of his field training when he shot Taylor, an unarmed black teenager who played football at Angelo State University. Johnson said he made the decision regarding Miller's termination independently, after receiving a briefing from homicide investigators.
Miller shot Taylor multiple times during an incident early Friday morning at a car dealership. Taylor had allegedly driven his Jeep through the front window of the dealership showroom and kicked out the windshield of one of the cars on the lot, at which point a security company called 911. When Miller and his training officer, Cpl. Wiggins, arrived on the scene, Taylor was inside the showroom. Johnson said that Taylor ran away, instead of getting on the ground as the officers had asked. Miller entered the showroom without Wiggins to arrest Taylor, and a subsequent confrontation resulted in Miller firing four times and Wiggins using a Taser. According to Johnson, Miller's decision to enter the showroom alone led to “an environment of cascading consequences.”
According to police spokesman Christopher Cook, Miller's poor judgment in tactics, as well as the fact that Taylor was killed, contributed to Johnson's ultimate decision to fire Miller. At a press conference on Tuesday, Johnson also described some of the decisions made on the scene as "troubling." He explained the events which led up to the shooting, of which there is no video evidence. Johnson also criticized Miller's initial decision to approach Taylor on his own, without a plan for arrest. Because Miller was still in field training at the time of the shooting, he cannot appeal the firing. Miller was a fully-trained officer, but he needed to complete a certain number of hours in the field under the supervision of a training officer as part of "formalized" on-the-job training, according to police spokesman Sgt. Paul Rodriguez.
From here, according to Johnson, it is likely that police will present the case to a grand jury, which will determine whether Miller should face criminal charges — according to The Dallas Morning News, none have been filed at this time. But if the case does go before a grand jury, Cook said that the Tarrant County medical examiner's autopsy report will play an important role.