Fired Cop’s Lawyer, Union Blast Arlington Police Chief

     DALLAS (CN) – Police groups and the attorney for former Arlington police officer Brad Miller blasted his firing over the shooting death of Christian Taylor, citing an alleged lack of due process.
     John Snider, with Lyon Gorsky in Dallas, spoke out on Miller’s behalf Wednesday morning. Miller, 49, has yet to publicly comment on his involvement in the death of burglary suspect Taylor, 19, inside the Classic GMC Buick dealership early Aug. 7.
     Miller graduated from the Arlington police academy in March and was serving the 16 weeks of field training required of new officers.
     Johnson fired Miller on Tuesday “for exercising poor judgment” by following Taylor inside a showroom building alone and putting other officers in danger. He said Miller’s “unilateral decision” to go alone and failure to communicate with other officers and develop an arrest plan created “an environment of cascading consequences” that resulted in Taylor’s death.
     Johnson said he had “serious concerns” about the “rationale articulated” by Miller for his use of deadly force. He said Miller fired on Taylor after he failed to comply with commands to get on the ground, instead “actively advancing towards Officer Miller.”
     Johnson said training officer Wiggins heard a pop from what he believed was Miller’s Taser, but it was the first bullet. Miller fired his service pistol three more times.
     Wiggins is still on administrative leave pending an investigation. Miller cannot appeal his termination because he was a probational employee.
     Snider blasted Johnson for making a “politically expedient decision” in firing his client that “is an insult to the rank-and-file officers who put their lives on the line” daily.
     “While Chief Johnson sits behind his desk and Monday-morning quarterbacks an officer’s actions when coming face to face with a violent felon, his biggest fears are getting a paper cut or losing his six-figure salary,” Snider told The Dallas Morning News. “Chief Johnson used 20/20 hindsight to protect his job and appease anti-police activists. Officer Miller made decisions in the heat of a violent confrontation to save his and other officers’ lives.”
     Snider said a four day-long “investigation” and “media theatrics” are not due process and that Miller was fired “to appease anti-police activists.”
     The Arlington Municipal Patrolman’s Association said hours after Miller’s termination that “every officer, every employee, every American has a right to be free from a rush to judgment without the facts.”
     The group “supports Officer Miller’s right to be judged fairly and completely on facts instead of a snapshot developed in only days,” the association said in a statement. “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.”
     Kevin Lawrence, director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, said Miller’s firing creates “an environment where nobody will want to be a police officer, and we will wind up with every kind of people we do not want” as police officers.
     “It’s amazing that nobody, including Chief Johnson, seems to care about the science” Lawrence told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Wednesday. “I’m not saying that the officer didn’t do anything wrong, because I don’t know. It’s another knee-jerk reaction based on public pressure.”
     Johnson said the decision to fire Miller was his alone after he met with investigators Tuesday. He said the investigation is continuing and that Miller could face criminal charges. Johnson said he based his decision on a “preponderance of evidence available to me and the facts revealed” by investigators.

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