This story is over 5 years old.

Rookie Texas Cop Fatally Shoots Unarmed Black College Football Player

A suburban Dallas police officer reportedly shot 19-year-old Christian Taylor after the teen drove through the window of a car dealership.
August 8, 2015, 1:20pm
Christian Taylor. Photo via Twitter

VICE News is closely watching policing in America. Check out the Officer Involved blog here.

A suburban Dallas police officer has been put on administrative leave after fatally shooting a unarmed college football player during an altercation that reportedly occurred after the teen drove his SUV through the window of a car dealership.

The medical examiner's office named the deceased as 19-year-old Christian Taylor, of Arlington, Texas. Taylor was a sophomore at Angelo State University in San Angelo, where he played defensive back on the football team. An outpouring of support from students, faculty, and friends has flooded social media since his death was announced.


The Arlington Police Department said the incident occurred around 1am when officers responded to reports of a burglary at the Classic Buick GMC car dealership. When officers arrived at the scene, there was a scuffle during which time an "officer discharged his weapon," Police Sgt. Paul Rodriguez said.

Police later identified the officer as 49-year-old Brad Miller, who joined the department last September, having never had a police job before. Miller graduated from the police academy in March and had been working under supervision since that time, according to a police statement.

Related: Backlash Against Police Use of Force Is Making Its Way into US Courtrooms

The officer is on administrative leave pending a separate internal and independent criminal investigation currently underway, the police statement said.

Rodriguez said police have not yet found any security or other footage of the incident. Officers in Arlington do not currently wear bodycams.

Taylor had no prior convictions but was given six months probation in December for possession of a controlled substance, after police reportedly found 11 non-prescribed hydrocodone tablets on him during a routine traffic stop in September 2013, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Taylor's death occurred on the eve of the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, and amid nationwide protests against police brutality and fatal use of force toward unarmed citizens, particularly African Americans and minorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Watch the VICE News documentary, Talking Heads: A Look Back at the Violence in Ferguson: