The case of a rookie Arlington police officer who was fired in August after shooting a college football player at a car dealership is being considered by a Tarrant County grand jury this week.
Brad Miller, 49, fatally shot Christian Taylor, 19, four times early Aug. 7. The grand jury will decide if Miller should be prosecuted on criminal charges. Grand jurors will review the Arlington Police Department’s investigation into the case among other evidence.
The Tarrant County district attorney office’s Law Enforcement Incident Unit, established recently to investigate officer-involved incidents, began presenting the case Monday afternoon, said Sam Jordan, a district attorney spokeswoman.
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson fired Miller on Aug. 11, saying the officer had “exercised poor judgment” that led to “cascading consequences.” Miller’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Smith of the Field Church in Arlington, previously said the rookie officer felt he was in a “life-threatening state of circumstances.”
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Taylor was a sophomore defensive back at Angelo State University and a 2014 graduate of Mansfield Summit High School.
Security video from the Classic Buick GMC dealership shows Taylor jumping on and vandalizing a Ford Mustang in the parking lot before the shooting. He later crashed his SUV through the glass front of the showroom.
Inside the dealership, one of the six Arlington officers at the scene fired a Taser at Taylor, which struck him in the left part of his chest. Miller then fired four shots at Taylor, hitting his abdomen, chest and neck, according to public documents.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office reported that Taylor had a synthetic psychedelic drug and marijuana in his system.
The synthetic drug, 25I-NBOMe, is supposed to mimic the effects of LSD. Also known as “N-bomb,” the target drug latches on to a specific serotonin receptor in the brain, a psychiatrist told the Star-Telegram.
The Taylor family’s attorney, Mike Heiskell, said he wants to ensure the grand jury has all the information they need to make an objective decision without being rushed to judgment. He said he couldn’t comment on whether he was called to speak to the grand jury but believes Miller should be charged with manslaughter.
“The facts are rather quite evident he acted unreasonably in the circumstances,” Heiskell said. “Deadly force was not reasonable.”
Staff writer Ryan Osborne contributed to this report.
Monica S. Nagy: 817-390-7792, @MonicaNagyFWST
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