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Family of Teen Shot by Police to Receive $850,000 from the City of Arlington

English: Student Center at Angelo State University
English: Student Center at Angelo State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was announced on May 23, 2017, that the City of Arlington, Texas, has agreed to pay $850,000 to the family of Christian Taylor, in settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit. On August 7, 2015, 19-year-old Taylor, an unarmed African American, was allegedly fatally shot by an Arlington, Texas, police officer during a suspected burglary. The police officer who allegedly shot Taylor was fired from his job two days later. In June 2016, the Tarrant County Grand Jury voted not to take action against the former Arlington officer for the events leading to Taylor’s death.

The events leading to the alleged police shooting were largely caught on surveillance videos, though the shooting itself was not. At about 1 am, 6-foot-tall, 180-pound Taylor, a football player at Angelo State University, drove up to a car dealership in his own vehicle. Video footage shows that he allegedly began smashing windows on several of the cars in the lot.

Six officers with the Arlington Police Department showed up at the scene, having been called by a security guard. The officers discovered that the suspect had driven his car through the window of the dealership and was in the showroom on foot. A 49-year-old officer, a rookie who was still on probation who lacked policing experience, pursued Taylor inside the dealership. The rest of the officers stayed outside.

The officer claims that he confronted the suspect and ordered him to get on the ground. Taylor allegedly did not comply but began advancing toward the officer. At this point, the field training officer had entered the dealership and was preparing to deploy his Taser when the rookie allegedly shot Taylor from a distance of 7 to 10 feet. The suspect allegedly continued to approach, and the officer shot his gun at Taylor three more times.

The Arlington police chief said, four days after the deadly incident, that the rationale expressed for using deadly force raised serious concerns.

Family and friends of Taylor saw footage of his behavior that night, and they all said he was obviously not behaving like himself.

–Guest Contributor

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