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Cop Who Shot Christian Taylor Fired as Police Release Official Audio of Incident

Arlington’s police chief said the rookie cop who shot the unarmed college football player would lose his job, and the department vowed to conduct a “thorough and transparent investigation.”
August 11, 2015, 11:05pm
Photo via Arlington Police/EPA

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The police officer in Arlington, Texas, who shot an unarmed college football player last week has been fired, Arlington police chief Will Johnson announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson told reporters that Brad Miller, a 49-year-old rookie cop who had been working under the supervision of a training officer since graduating in March from the police academy, would lose his job for shooting Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old sophomore at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.

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Johnson said that an investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and the Arlington Police Department (APD) announced that "detectives have received officer statements" in connection with the probe. The FBI is also reportedly involved in the investigation.

Johnson said he was troubled by some of the actions Miller took during the encounter, saying the officer should not have approached the suspect alone. Johnson said Miller shot Taylor when Taylor began to advance toward the officer. He noted that there was no physical contact between Taylor and the officer before the shooting. The chief said it will be up to a grand jury to decide whether Miller should be charged criminally.

Arlington police also released an audio recording of their radio communications during the shooting, which occurred on August 7, 2015 at a car dealership in suburban Dallas. Police said the audio was released in response to a leaked recording that "grossly misrepresents the facts" in the case.

The leaked audio was posted Saturday on YouTube, and was purportedly obtained by the hacktivist group Anonymous. The YouTube description of the video claimed that police shot Taylor within seconds of making contact with him. Arlington poice said the clip was "not official" and "had segments of time removed."

Related: Police Have Killed at Least 1,083 Americans Since Michael Brown's Death

"It is the desire of APD to conduct an expeditious, thorough and transparent investigation and provide accurate information to the public," the department said.

Surveillance video from the car dealership showed Taylor's actions leading up to the shooting. Taylor, who played defensive back on his school's football team, appeared disoriented in the footage, and could be seen wandering around the dealership's lot and stomping his way through the windshield of one car. He drove his own vehicle through a gate and crashed through a window at the dealership.

Police responded to reports of a burglary, and the surveillance footage shows an ambulance arriving on the scene minutes after police enter the dealership. "No video evidence of the shooting is available to our knowledge," Johnson said.

The shooting occurred on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguon, Missouri. The killing of the unarmed black teen by a white police officer sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

Related: Video Appears to Show Teen With Gun Moments Before Police Shot Him in Ferguson

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

Top photo shows former Arlington police officer Brad Miller.