Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams is speaking out about the officer-involved shooting that left 19-year-old Christian Taylor dead on Friday.
Taylor was fatally shot Friday by Arlington police officer Brad Miller during an altercation at Classic Buick GMC, police said. Police said video surveillance recorded the teen damaging cars at the car dealership and driving his Jeep through a showroom window shortly before the shooting.
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson promised a transparent investigation into the shooting and said evidence will be released to the public in the coming days.
Williams released the following unedited statement on Monday.
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I want to communicate directly to you about an incident that happened in our city last week.
On Friday August 7th, Arlington Police Department officers were called for a break-in at the Classic GMC Buick Dealership on I-20. Once there, officers found that a vehicle had been driven through the front of the building. The responding officers established a perimeter and approached the suspect inside. As officers confronted the suspect, there was an altercation during which Arlington Police Officer Brad Miller shot 19-year-old Christian Taylor, who later died.
First, let me extend my condolences to the family of Christian Taylor. No matter the circumstances, the pain of losing a child is unimaginable. The prayers of this community are needed for the Taylor family.
This incident has received significant local and national attention. I have heard from many of you wondering what happened. You are looking for answers, and so am I.
In the hours following the shooting, Officer Miller was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. At the same time, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson started a criminal and administrative investigation. It will be conducted in an expeditious, thorough and transparent manner. The facts of this case will lead us to the appropriate outcome; however, if it is found that the law or police procedures were not followed, people will be held accountable.
It is vital that the Taylor family, our community and the members of our police force have confidence that the findings of this investigation are accurate and fair. To that end, Chief Johnson has invited Tom Class, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office, the opportunity to participate in this case and review all investigative work and findings. I support this decision as a welcome review to validate the internal process in which I have great faith.
In the coming days, as the investigation unfolds, we will be providing the community with updated information.
The racial dynamics of police incidents around the country have driven a wedge between community groups. That’s not characteristic of Arlington, Texas and we don’t want this incident to derail our progress.
Arlington is a growing, diverse city. Residents and leaders alike are committed to continuing our efforts to be the most inclusive and representative community possible. But, it is clear we are not there yet. Strong dialogues were already happening with community and neighborhood leaders, and it is imperative that these conversations continue and expand in the weeks and months so our community can become closer and stronger.
Please continue to pray for all those involved and our community. We must join together as we work through this tragedy.