Police Abuse

Texas PD Fires Cop Who Shot and Killed Christian Taylor

Say the officer exercised poor judgment that put everyone at risk.

|

As reported in the morning links, the Arlington Police Department in Texas has fired Brad Miller, the police recruit who shot and killed Christian Taylor, a sophomore college football player at Angelo State University who was in a car dealership at 1 in the morning allegedly trying to steal a car. According to police, Taylor had smashed the windshield of one car at the dealership, and at some point told officers he was there to steal a car. Nevertheless, Taylor was unarmed and, according to police, hadn't made any physical contact with any of the officers. 

Yesterday, the police department fired Miller for exercising poor judgment. Police say his decision to enter the dealership after seeing the damaged car without telling other officers put everyone at risk. 

NBC News reports

"This is an extraordinarily difficult case," [Police Chief Will] Johnson said. "Decisions were made that have catastrophic outcomes." 

The investigation is continuing and will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for consideration and for submission to a grand jury, Johnson said. The criminal investigation is expected to take several weeks. The supervising officer will not be disciplined in the case, Johnson said. 

The Arlington Municipal Patrolman's Association said in a statement Tuesday that "every officer, every employee, every American has a right to be free from a rush to judgment without the facts." 

"The Arlington Municipal Patrolman's Association supports Officer Miller's right to be judged fairly and completely on facts instead of a snapshot developed in only days," the statement said. "Investigations take time and as Chief Johnson acknowledged, this investigation is not close to being concluded. 

"With that said, our thoughts and prayers are with the Taylor family in this time of grief. We again ask that citizens obey the commands of police officers in order to prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future. 

The patrolman's association might serve their members better by reminding recruits that even training sessions, when they happen in the real world, have real consequences, and that cops should obey the orders of their superiors and not go rogue. 

The patrolman's association is right that every American has "a right to be free from a rush to judgment without the facts." And arguably, when Miller shot Taylor he had made a rush to judgment without the facts, based solely on his feelings. 

Miller deserves due process when it comes to the criminal justice system —everybody does. The government must meet a high burden of proof whenever it tries to deprive someone of life, liberty, or property. That Miller, as an agent of the government, deprived someone of their life without due process, and absent a legitimate threat to his own life, ought to, on its own, disqualify Miller from continuing to be an agent of the government.  

Miller of course deserves due process, and ought to be considered innocent until proven guilty by the criminal justice system. And the criminal justice system should treat everyone that way. But Miller does not have a right not to be fired from his job if his superiors have decided he exercised poor judgment, especially if that judgment led to a homicide.  

Unions, patrolman's associations, and other police groups who demand cops keep their jobs until convicted by a court are the ones putting their members' due process rights in jeopardy by tying their rights to fair treatment in the criminal justice system to their employment status and thus increasing the pressure for a conviction as remedy. 

NEXT: Hillary Will Hand Over Email Server, FDA Concerned About Kardashian Instagram, Cop Who Killed Christian Taylor Fired: A.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wait for the follow up that he already has another job with another jurisdiction.

    Again, cop kills unarmed person, cop is not punished.

  2. Police say his decision to enter the dealership after seeing the damaged car without telling other officers put everyone at risk.

    Really? This is the poor judgement, not the decision to shoot someone who isn’t attacking anyone? Even when they do the right thing they prove their incompetence.

  3. We again ask that citizens obey the commands of police officers in order to prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future.

    Yeah. Yeah, that’ll fix everything.

    1. Get out of my head, Hamster.

      Or stay. 😉

      1. There’s all this healthy exercise in here! Augh, get it off me!

        1. Just snatch this empty bar a few times. C’mon! It’s good for your shoulders!

          1. No. *eats moar bacon*

  4. We again ask that citizens obey the commands of police officers in order to prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future.

    Got that? Just follow orders and you’ll be fine.

    1. Obey or die. Doesn’t matter if the order is lawful or not (In the mind of a police officer, anything that comes out of their mouth is a lawful order, even if it is not).

      1. That’s how it works in a slave state free society.

  5. finally. they really are 2 different issues, whether an officer commits a crime or whether they are incompetent to do a job. I’d say killing an innocent person or in many cases an unarmed person is the ultimate fuckup and the opposite of public safety.

    1. but as Marshal said above, they didn’t actually fire him for the right reason, which is that he is dangerous.

  6. Miller of course deserves due process, and ought to be considered innocent until proven guilty by the criminal justice system.

    Unfortunately, “presumption of innocence” has been replaced by “presumption of immunity”.

  7. Police say his decision to enter the dealership after seeing the damaged car without telling other officers put everyone at risk.

    OFFICER SAFETY.
    They couldn’t give a fuck less what happens to civilians.

  8. I guess no one has read the news accounts that Christian Taylor had expressed what amounted to suicidal thoughts on Facebook prior to his decision to steal a car. Or maybe you think Taylor had a right to steal a car and a right NOT TO COMPLY with police orders to cease and desist. You anti-cop people are sick.

    1. By all means, thinking the cop coulda, I dunno used his taser or something makes us sick. Must. Let.suicide by cop. Happen!

      1. We might have missed some of the nuances. He should re-post in the original German.

    2. It’s adorable! I say we keep it.

    3. Tulpa, I’m saying this with love. You need help. This anger, this obsession, this number of sockpuppets… it’s just not natural.

    4. Silly me. Here I thought that cops were supposed to protect all members of the public, even criminals, and only use deadly force when their life is in danger.

      I didn’t realize that they’re supposed to oblige people who are suicidal, and use deadly force on anyone who doesn’t obey their every word.

      1. “We again ask that citizens obey the commands of police officers”

        OBEY, CITIZENS!

        1. Even the mere use of the word “citizens” in this context reeks of patronizing elitism and condescension.

    5. Seig Heil, Commandant Cbalducc!

    6. You cop suckers are sycophantic sheep, not worthy of title of human being. Go blow some pig, you sorry piece of shit.

    7. Blow me, Tulpa.

  9. Decisions were made that have catastrophic outcomes.

    Decisions just kind of happened, with tragic consequences.

    1. Yep. Anyone who uses the passive voice in a context like this deserves a swift kick in the balls followed up with summary castration by fire.

  10. Or maybe you think “law enforcement professionals” are a superior caste, and that their lives (and delicate feelings of self-worth) must be defended at any cost.
    You cop worshipers are sick.

  11. Or maybe you think Taylor had a right to steal a car and a right NOT TO COMPLY with police orders to cease and desist.

    Or maybe we think cops don’t have the right to kill people solely for failure to obey.

    Believe it or not, some people don’t believe that every single thing that comes out of a cop’s mouth is worth killing someone over.

  12. And arguably, when Miller shot Taylor he had made a rush to judgment without the facts, based solely on his feelings.

    While this is exactly the same thought that ran through my head when I read this story, I don’t think there’s anything “arguable” about it. That’s exactly what happened.

    The outrage here is that the only consequences this officer is likely to face is the loss of his job. If there’s a privilege every American should be up in arms about these days, it’s qualified immunity, and yet there isn’t a peep from either the left or the right on that front.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.