FBI Lets Texas City Handle Police Killing

     ARLINGTON, Texas (CN) – The FBI declined the Arlington (Texas) Police Department’s request to help investigate the shooting death of a black, unarmed teenager by a white, rookie police officer last week.
     Arlington police Officer Brad Miller, 49, shot to death Christian Taylor, 19, at a Classic GMC Buick dealership in Arlington early Friday morning after Taylor kicked in the windshield of a vehicle and drove his Jeep through a building’s glass exterior. Taylor was caught on a security videotape .
     Miller recently graduated from the police academy and was serving the 16 weeks of field training required of new officers. The unidentified training officer who was with him is a 19-year police veteran and fired his Taser, police said.
     Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson asked the Dallas field office of the FBI to assist in the investigation for transparency’s sake. He acknowledged the national spotlight on the case is “not in isolation,” due to “social injustice, inequities, racism and police misconduct” in other communities.
     Taylor’s death came two days before the first anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
     The FBI declined the request on Monday, stating it has been “in contact” with Arlington police officials.
     “Based upon that contact, the Dallas FBI has full confidence in the ability of the Arlington Police Department and Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter,” FBI spokeswoman Allison Mahan said in a statement. “If in the course of the investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate.”
     Police spokeswoman Tiara Richard declined to comment Monday on the FBI’s decision.
     About 50 people attended a vigil and protest outside Arlington police headquarters Monday evening, organized by Mothers Against Police Brutality. Several carried signs stating, “Unarmed, Don’t Shoot,” “End Police Brutality” and “Honor Christian Taylor.”
     “Join us to remember this young man, Christian Taylor,” group founder Collette Flanagan said. “Join us to honor his memory, to support his family, and to protest the ongoing national disgrace of police brutality.”
     An unidentified speaker said that “vandalism should not be a death sentence.”
     Several protesters wrote in chalk on the building’s entranceway, “Black Lives Matter” and “I Am Here For My Black Son.”
     At least two more vigils are planned in Taylor’s honor in Arlington this week.
     A sophomore football player at Angelo State University, Taylor’s posts on Twitter about racism and police tactics have gone viral since his death.
     “Police taking black lives as easy as flippin a coin, with no consequences smh [shaking my head],” he posted on Dec. 24, 2014.
     On July 30 this year, he posted: “I don’t wanna die too younggggg.”
     Also Monday, police released recordings of radio communications during the incident, in response to a Youtube video that they say “grossly misrepresents the facts.”
     The video “makes a false claim that Mr. Christian Taylor was shot by police in less than one second after officers made contact with him,” police said in a statement.

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