DALLAS (CN) – The unarmed black teenager a white, rookie police officer shot to death at a Dallas-area car dealer was high on marijuana and a psychedelic drug, according to a county medical examiner’s autopsy.
Christian Taylor, 19, was shot four times on Aug. 7 inside the closed showroom of Classic GMC Buick in Arlington, between Fort Worth and Dallas.
A security camera showed Taylor, a sophomore football player at Angelo State University, walking up to several cars in the parking lot at 1:05 a.m., jumping up and down on vehicles, kicking the windshield of a Ford Mustang, then driving his Jeep through the glass exterior of the showroom.
Postmortem toxicology results showed Taylor had a blood concentration of 3.1 ng/mL of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is “consistent with recent use” of marijuana, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday evening by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
The 17-page report states Taylor also had 0.76 ng/mL of the synthetic drug NBOMe in his system. NBOMe is “known to cause distorted perceptions, agitation and hallucinations” and has “been associated with random and bizarre behavior,” according to the autopsy.
Two forms of NBOMe were found in Taylor’s blood and urine – psychedelic 25i-NBOMe and hallucinogenic 25h-NBOMe. NBOMe, known on the street as 25L, has effects similar to LSD, but its side effects are considered more dangerous, according to medical literature.
The autopsy showed that Taylor was shot from the front in his arm, chest, throat and stomach. He was killed two days before the first anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and again thrust the issues of race and police violence into the national debate.
Several nights of protests at Arlington police headquarters followed, with citizens demanding the firing and criminal prosecution of the shooter, Officer Brad Miller, 49. A recent graduate of the police academy, Miller was serving his 16 weeks of field training when he killed Taylor.
Police Chief Will Johnson fired Miller several days after the shooting, “for exercising poor judgment ” in pursuing Taylor inside the building alone against department policy and putting other officers in danger.
Johnson said at the time that he had “serious concerns” about the “rationale articulated” by Miller for his use of deadly force. He said Miller fired after Taylor failed to comply with commands to get on the ground, and was “actively advancing towards Officer Miller.”
Miller cannot appeal his firing, as he was a probationary employee.
His attorney, John Snider, with Lyon Gorsky in Dallas, said Wednesday evening that the autopsy results are a “crucial development” that he hoped would make Johnson reconsider “his rush to judgment” in Miller.
Snider has blasted Johnson for making a “politically expedient decision,” which the attorney called “ an insult to the rank-and-file officers who put their lives on the line” every day.
“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 said on Aug. 11.
“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.”
Taylor made several Twitter posts in the months before his death about racism and police tactics.
“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.”
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