Texas City Settles With Family of Man Killed by Police

DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas-area suburb has agreed to pay $850,000 to settle claims by the family of a black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer at a car dealership two years ago.

Christian Taylor, 19, was shot four times in August 2015 inside the closed showroom of Classic GMC Buick in Arlington.

Security camera footage showed Taylor, a sophomore football player at Angelo State University, walking up to several cars in the parking lot after midnight, jumping up and down on vehicles, kicking the windshield of a Ford Mustang, then driving his Jeep through the glass exterior of the showroom.

Police Chief Will Johnson fired the shooter, Officer Brad Miller, within days “for exercising poor judgment” in pursuing Taylor into the building alone against department policy and putting other officers in danger.

Johnson said at the time 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” Miller.

A Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Miller in June 2016.

Taylor’s death attracted national attention as it came within days of the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner later determined Taylor had the synthetic drug NBOMe in his system, as well as signs of recent use of marijuana. NBOMe is “known to cause distorted perceptions, agitation and hallucinations” and has “been associated with random and bizarre behavior,” according to the autopsy.

The Arlington City Council approved the $850,000 settlement with Taylor’s family Tuesday evening. City officials said the city “appreciates the efforts” of the Taylors and community to resolve the matter.

“This pre-suit settlement is not an admission of fault or liability,” the city said in a written statement. “Rather, it is a mutually agreed upon resolution to this unfortunate incident which avoids the personal and financial cost of litigation for all parties involved and dismisses any potential claims.”

Taylor’s family has yet to sue the city of Arlington. Both sides attended a pre-suit mediation in November that failed to result in a settlement but have now reached an agreement, according to a city staff report.

Taylor’s father, Adrian Taylor Sr., said the settlement will not bring peace to his family.

“The main thing about the settlement is we can’t be satisfied with any amount of money, because it can’t bring my son back,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday. “Our goal is to get a community center in his name.”

 

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