The family of Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old-college football player who was killed by Texas police officer Brad Miller over an alleged burglary attempt, is shocked by the decision of the grand jury not to convict the police man who shot Taylor. They have asked prosecutors to refile charges, the New York Daily News is reporting.
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said Wednesday that the Arlington police trainee would not face criminal charges despite being fired within days after the fatal shooting.
Michael Heiskell, a lawyer for the family, forwarded a letter to Wilson asking to refile criminal negligent homicide charges against the former police officer.
Texas cop who killed Christian Taylor was rejected by the force twice before being hired. http://t.co/gqlJwYbt23 pic.twitter.com/JzXEspwK9W
— The Root (@TheRoot) September 6, 2015
Surveillance footage showed Taylor, a 180-pound defensive back from Angelo State University in West Texas, entering a car dealership around 1 a.m. The six-footer went on to smash several car windows, which prompted a security guard to place a 911 call. When six Arlington police officers arrived on the scene, they saw that Taylor had rammed his vehicle through the dealership window. The video footage showed the 19-year-old smashing windshields, jumping on sports cars, and clutching broken glass in his bare hands.
Miller, 49, a trainee who had no prior police experience and was still on probation, had chased Taylor inside the showroom without waiting for instructions from his superiors. The rookie cop confronted Taylor and ordered him to get down on the ground. According to Arlington’s police chief, Will Johnson, Taylor refused to comply and began advancing towards the officer. The police chief said that Miller’s training as an officer required him to use his Taser to subdue the young man, but instead, Miller opened fire from a distance of between seven to 10 feet, hitting Taylor four times in the chest, abdomen, throat, and forearm.
An autopsy revealed that the 19-year-old had a cocktail of drugs in his system at the time of the shooting, including THC, the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, and a synthetic psychedelic drug known as the N-Bomb, a potent hallucinogen that carries similar effects to LSD. Heiskell, in the letter sent to Wilson, said the young man “was exhibiting psychosis as a result of the synthetically laced marijuana he had previously smoked.”
He continued by saying that Miller “acted unilaterally to break protocol and break away from his fellow officers, he disregarded substantial risks and chose to fire his 9mm Glock four times into Christian’s body while his training officer, standing adjacent to him, acted reasonably and fired his Taser.”
— Longform (@longform) June 10, 2016
Heiskell pointed out that since the DA’s office had refiled charges against Ed McIver Jr., because a grand jury had refused to indict him for attempted capital murder in the shooting a Fort Worth police officer, they needed to also allow justice run its course against Miller, who had acted recklessly in a contained and controlled environment.
Additionally, the Arlington NAACP found it perplexing that no charges were brought against the former officer. Over 50 protesters marched to the Arlington police department Friday to express their dissatisfaction over the verdict.
Alisa Simmons, a member of the Arlington NAACP, said, “It is important to remember that Miller, who is trained, is the one who intensified the scenario that led to Christian’s death and the violation of a number of departmental policies.”
In recent times, N-Bomb has been connected to a slew of erratic and sometimes deadly behavior all over the country. In 2014, three teens who allegedly took the drug were behaving erratically and yelling incoherently. They also assaulted police officers trying to help them, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Do you believe that the officer who shot and killed Christian Taylor committed a crime or did the right thing in the heat of the moment?
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]