Arlington officer fired for shooting death of unarmed teen suspect
Arlington officer in training Brad Miller was terminated by Arlington police on Tuesday for failing to follow departmental policy and poor judgment that resulted in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen suspect Christian Taylor.
Miller, 49, shot Taylor, 19, four times, killing the teen after he broke into the Classic Buick GMC dealership last week. Surveillance video showed Taylor vandalizing several vehicles at the dealership near Collins Street and Interstate 20.
"I have found several decisions made on scene to be troubling," said Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson, who added he has "serious concerns" about the use of deadly force during the incident.
Johnson made the announcement on Tuesday evening at a press conference, where he described a detailed timeline of the sequence of events that happened at an Arlington car dealership early Friday morning.
Johnson said the facts of the case will be presented to a Tarrant County grand jury, who will determine whether Miller is charged with a crime.
Johnson said Miller was the first officer to enter the dealership showroom, which was a break in protocol that forced others to follow him inside. Johnson said Miller should have never gone into the building without letting his corporal know.
"This placed Officer Miller and the other officers on scene in a position of undue risk," Johnson said.
Taylor tried to initially flee from Miller, but encountered a locked glass door he tried to break down. Miller followed Taylor and Taylor turned toward Miller and began cursing at him.
Taylor then started advancing toward Miller, ignoring verbal commands to get down.
The training officer with Miller, Cpl. Dale Wiggins, heard a pop and at first thought Miller had used his Taser. He then realized it was Miller's gun. Wiggins used his Taser and then Miller fired his gun three more times at Taylor.
Johnson said Miller and Taylor never came into physical contact during the entire incident.
Johnson said other officers on scene had seen what they called a "bulge" in Taylor's pocket. After Taylor was down, they discovered it was only a wallet and a cellphone.
Johnson said Miller was fired for exercising poor judgment.
Cpl. Wiggins will not face any discipline from police.
Johnson also released the 911 call made after Taylor broke into the dealership.
Shortly after Tuesday night's press conference, Chief Johnson arrived at an NAACP meeting held later in the evening at New Life Fellowship in Arlington.