Adrian Taylor, the father of Christian Taylor, who was shot four times by an Arlington police officer after vandalizing a car at a Classic Buick GMC dealership, said the police are not cooperating with him.
“They won’t even talk to me, man,” Adrian Taylor said. “I’m having to find out about how [my son] CJ died on social media.”
Taylor claims he learned more details about his son’s death from a leaked audio file provided to the hacktivist group Anonymous. The audio file and security tape provided by the police offer conflicting information.
“The various video and audio files conflict in timing; in one clip it seems the rookie officer, Brad Miller, shot Taylor within a second or two of spotting him. In another, minutes elapse between the first sighting and the shots,” reported The Guardian.
Security tape shows Christian Taylor pulling up to an Arlington car dealership and vandalizing a car. He later drives his car into a showroom window. Local police responded to a security alert and claim they told Taylor to surrender. When he didn’t comply, he was shot dead by rookie police officer Brad Miller, who had been on the force for a year. Miller fired his weapon, while his training officer, who accompanied him on the call, fired a taser, according to the Associated Press. Investigators later determined that Taylor was unarmed.
“Arlington officer Brad Miller has been placed on administrative leave. Police say the officer, who joined Arlington police last year and was still completing his department field training, had never before fired his weapon in the line of duty,” reported the AP.
Taylor, who was set to play as a defensive back for Angelo State University, is the latest in a long string of young Black people killed during encounters with the police. Arlington Police Chief Willie Johnson said his department was going to conduct a “transparent investigation” and also called for the assistance of the FBI.
The AP reports that Johnson mentioned the current climate during the news conference, noting that, “our nation has been wrestling with the topics of social injustice, inequities, racism and police misconduct” and that his department would “pledge to act in a transparent manner.”
Taylor’s death coincides with the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teen who was shot dead by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Christian Taylor came from a middle-class Black family known for their athletic prowess. His brothers have played at the college and pro level. His family is bewildered by his death.
“He was a really good guy. He was family-oriented. He was an A student and he had everything going for him,” Joshua Taylor, Christian’s brother, said according to the Guardian. He added that his brother had “recently given his life to God.”
“He was happy, everything was great. He was trying to touch people’s lives.”
Christian Taylor was well aware of the nation’s current climate and the relationship between police and the Black community.
“Police taking black lives as easy as flipping a coin, with no consequences,” Christian Taylor wrote on Twitter. “I don’t wanna die too young.”
Adrian Taylor said the police overreacted and could have resolved the issue without killing his son.
“Maybe he had been drinking, maybe he was on something. I don’t know,” he said. “But you don’t kill somebody for that. You don’t just take a life.”
Adrian Taylor said that even if his son was trying to steal a car, he didn’t deserve to be shot dead.
“But you know what? The insurance check would have been cut next week, the car would have been paid for, and my son would still be alive,” Adrian Taylor said.
Video of Taylor prior to fatal shooting