As questions and strong emotions run rampant nationwide over the police shooting of 19-year-old Christian Taylor, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson sought to reassure the public they will get answers.
“We recognize the importance of these topics, the impact these issues have on communities nationwide, and we pledge to act in a transparent manner in an effort to alleviate these concerns,” said Johnson.
During a news conference Saturday night, he revealed new details about the events leading up to the shooting.
Johnson said after officers were called out to the Classic GMC-Buick dealership Friday morning, they set up a perimeter around the showroom, where Taylor had driven an SUV through a glass wall.
When officers found him, they ordered him to get on the ground but he did not comply. Instead, Johnson said, he ran to the southwest corner of the building. Two officers, including rookie Brad Miller, went after him to arrest him.
At that point, there was a “confrontation” between Taylor and the officers and Miller fired his weapon.
“Four rounds were fired during the incident,” said Johnson. “Mr. Taylor was struck multiple times.”
Johnson also revealed the second officer used his taser during the confrontation, but that it’s not yet clear if the shots or the taser were fired first.
He said he could not expand on what took place during the confrontation until they’ve had time to complete their investigation.
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“The investigative process used to answer these questions involves multiple segments of the criminal justice system and can be lengthy and at times frustratingly slow,” said Johnson. “It takes time to process evidence, to collect and analyze witness statements, and to form an investigative understanding of the sequence of events that took place.”
Johnson said the FBI will help Arlington Police conduct this investigation for the sake of transparency, not because of a lack of confidence in his own department’s abilities.
Arlington Police said they expect to publicly release all 911 calls, surveillance video, and police radio traffic from the shooting within the next seven to ten days.
“Everything about the outcome of this incident is a tragedy. Our community is hurting, a family is hurting, and our department is hurting,” said Johnson.