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FBI Joining Probe in Police Killing of Unarmed Texas Teen

  • Chris Hannas

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Police in the southern U.S. state of Texas have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI - to help their investigation in the case of an officer shooting an unarmed man at a car dealership.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson told reporters at a news conference late Saturday that bringing in federal authorities "in no way diminishes my confidence" in local officers to conduct the probe.

The incident, just outside Dallas, began with authorities being called to the dealership around 1 a.m. Friday after a report of a burglary. Johnson said officers found 19-year-old Christian Taylor inside the showroom, and pursued him after he refused to surrender and tried to flee.

Brad Miller, a white officer in training who joined the department last September, shot at Taylor, a black man, four times and hit him at least twice, the chief said. Miller's training officer also used a Taser.

Surveillance video from the site shows a man pulling up to the dealership's parking lot, hopping over a gate and roaming the parking lot. He then walks up to several vehicles before punching at the driver's side window of one car, then kicking and stomping on the car's windshield. He peels away a broken section of the windshield and slides inside, then exits the car through the door.

A short time later, the man goes back to the gate to get in his own vehicle, drives through the gate and then through the showroom window. The footage shows several police officers arriving and going inside, and later an ambulance pulling up to the building, but does not show any of what happened inside.

A police statement said Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene and "had no weapon."

Adrian Taylor, Christian's older brother, told the local NBC news affiliate KXAS-TV that the teen did not deserve to die.

"You got a new environment, you're around new people, you're leaving home, making your own decisions, you're going to make mistakes," he said. "We have to learn. He didn't get a chance to learn. His life is over."

Taylor's death came two days before the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager from the Midwestern state of Missouri who was unarmed when shot dead by a white officer. Brown's killing brought the issue of police conduct, particularly their treatment of minorities, to national prominence with protests springing up in cities all over the country.

Subsequent deaths, including Freddie Gray who died after suffering an injury while in police custody in Baltimore and 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot dead in Cleveland while holding a pellet gun, have kept a focus on the use of force and calls for officers to be prosecuted when acting above the law.

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