Texas Cop Who Shot Unarmed Teen Fired From Police Force, May Face Criminal Charges (VIDEO)

Rookie Officer Brad Miller, who fired the four shots that ended the life of 19-year-old Christian Taylor on August 7, was fired from the Arlington Police Department on Tuesday. According to Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson an internal investigation into the shooting revealed that officer Miller made a series of poor choices that “produced an unrecoverable outcome.”

 “Officer Miller exercised inappropriate judgment by entering the building alone. This unilateral decision to enter the building and to continue the pursuit deeper into the building to continue contact with Mr. Taylor, along with failing to communicate with fellow officers or develop an arrest plan, created an environment of cascading consequences that produced an unrecoverable outcome.”

During a news conference held at the police station, Police Chief Johnson said that a team of investigators has submitted a unified decision to terminate the officer, although he also stated that the final decision had been his alone. Johnson stressed that the decision was based on a “preponderance of evidence available to me and the facts revealed” during the internal police investigation.

Johnson stated that the investigation is not complete, and stressed that Miller may face criminal charges in connection with the shooting, based on the conclusions of a separate investigation, which is being conducted by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office.

While the police chief did not elaborate, Johnson said “I have serious concerns as to the rationale articulated for the use of deadly force in this incident.” He stated that those unspecified concerns would be the part of the focus of  the ongoing criminal investigation.

Video released over the weekend showed Taylor jumping on cars which were parked on the lot of an Arlington dealership. The video also shows Taylor breaking through the windshield of a vehicle, then emerging from inside the car moments later. Taylor apparently drove his own car through the showroom window. He was inside the building when Miller killed him.

Miller fired four shots, striking Taylor in the neck, chest and stomach. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

The media initially reported that there was a struggle between Taylor and Miller. On Tuesday, Police Chief Johnson stressed that “there was no physical contact between Mr. Taylor and officers.”

According to Johnson, Miller’s training officer, Dale Wiggins, reached for his taser. At this time he heard a “pop.” Johnson said the training officer first believed the sound came from Miller’s taser, but soon realized it was the sound of the 49-year-old rookie cop opening fire on the teen. Wiggins has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

During the press conference, Johnson went over the laws governing police use of deadly force. He specified that in order for such force to be justified, the officer must act in a manner “similar to what an objectively reasonable officer would do in a similar set of circumstances.” Since Miller’s training officer, who has 19 years experience on the force, assessed the situation and responded by reaching for a taser, not a deadly weapon, it can be assumed that Miller’s actions did not fit this description of “justified deadly force.”

Here’s video of Police Chief Johnson’s 28-minute press conference, via arlingtonpolicemedia on YouTube.

Featured image credit: video screen capture