Police in Texas said today that the FBI will assist in an investigation into the actions of a white police officer who fatally shot a black teen at a car dealership in suburban Dallas.
“The facts available today do not answer all questions or alleviate all concerns,” Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said during a news conference.
The death of Christian Taylor, 19, who played football for Angelo State University, has raised questions in the wake of several high-profile police shootings across the country over the past year.
Johnson said police were contacted on Friday at 1:05 a.m. by a company that manages security cameras at Classic Buick GMC in Arlington, located about 10 miles outside Dallas. Police said they were notified of an alleged burglary attempt and that a jeep had driven onto the showroom floor.
Officer Brad Miller, 49, and another officer entered the dealership and approached Taylor, who was caught on the private surveillance cameras allegedly jumping on parked cars before he was ultimately shot, authorities said.
Johnson told reporters that the officers spotted Taylor in the building and believed a felony burglary was in progress. Johnson said that following an altercation, Miller fired his weapon four times.
The medical examiner has ruled Taylor’s death a homicide and determined the cause of death to be “gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.”
Johnson said the department will release 911 calls, scanner traffic and all video surveillance after all statements are taken, which is likely to occur within the next 7 to 10 days.
Arlington Police said Miller had completed the police academy and was a fully licensed officer, although he was still in the midst of completing a 16-week field training program required of new officers. The other officer has 19 years experience and had discharged his Taser, Johnson said.
Taylor was shot just two days before the anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, an unarmed, black 18-year-old whose death triggered violent protests and ignited the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
To start his news conference, Johnson acknowledged the current climate, saying that “our nation has been wrestling with the topics of social injustice, inequities, racism and police misconduct” and that his department will “act in a transparent manner” during the probe.