More than 1,000 mourners attended a funeral on Saturday for Christian Taylor, an unarmed 19-year-old African American fatally shot by a white officer in Texas in an incident that raised fresh attention of police treatment of racial minorities.
Christian Taylor, a Texas college football player and a 19-year-old black, was remembered at a church in the northern Texas city of Arlington.
Christian was shot to death by a white Arlington police officer in training last week. Paul Rodriguez, an Arlington police spokesman, told The Associated Press that police were advised that someone had driven a auto onto the lot, started to damage another auto, then drove his own vehicle into the glass front of the showroom.
Inside the showroom, Miller ordered Taylor to get to the ground.
An Angelo State University news release stated that Taylor’s teammates attended the funeral “to support Christian’s family and loved ones and to help work through their grief over the loss of their teammate and friend”. He said Miller, “made decisions in the heat of a violent confrontation to save his and other officers’ lives”.
After an initial administrative investigation, Police Chief Will Johnson announced Tuesday that he had fired Miller.
When Taylor was about 10 feet away, the officer fired, Johnson said.
Johnson told reporters last week that investigators had not determined “the nature of the confrontation” except that Miller and his training officer, identified as Cpl. Miller can not appeal his termination due to his rookie status.
The victim’s brother Adrian Taylor, tears welling up in eyes, described Christian as “a competitor and a fighter who did not want to be left behind.”
“Sometimes when you don’t know what to say, you just kind of keep waiting”, Pride said. He could not fathom why Christian would have been at that dealership that early Friday morning, but believed that the shooting could have been prevented. “When I told him that was something that we had to build up to, he was not happy”. Taylor desperately wanted to bring others to Christ and saw his self-image elevated with those of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Goines, friends and relatives said.
“I said to his father, ‘You know that boy of yours, he’s going to be all right”.
Mayor Jeff Williams also said Tuesday, “Residents and leaders alike are committed to continuing our efforts to be the most inclusive and representative community possible”. Authorities say the Tarrant County District Attorney could present the case to a grand jury within weeks. “I think the Black community is somewhat in a state of shock and awe that somebody’s being factual and fair and objective”, said Rev. McKissic after Chief Johnson took quick and decisive action.
Members of the Mansfield Summit High School football team speak during the funeral service of Christian Taylor Saturday.