On the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death, no one is looking at the Friday death of unarmed Black teenager Christian Taylor in a vacuum. The 19-year-old was shot four times by a police officer in training, after Taylor reportedly broke into a car dealership in Arlington, Texas, and tried to flee police. At a news conference on Saturday night, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson pledged that his department would act in a "transparent manner" as they worked with the FBI to investigate the shooting, the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate reports. "Everything about the outcome of this incident is a tragedy," Johnson said. "Our community is hurting, a family is hurting, and our department is hurting." According to police, multiple officers responded to a 911 call about a burglary at the Classic GMC-Buick Dealership at 1 a.m. on Friday. Security footage released by the dealership shows Taylor jumping on the bumpers of cars, and he reportedly broke into one SUV and crashed it through a glass wall. A perimeter was set up around the dealership, and Taylor fled. Rookie officer Brad Miller and his training partner pursued Taylor, and an unspecified confrontation took place, in which one officer fired his Taser and Miller fired four rounds of his gun.
"I don't feel protected by police."
Christian Taylor on Twitter
Taylor was about to enter his sophomore year at Angelo State University, which he was attending on a football scholarship. "Christian was a charismatic kid and a leader on the football team," coach Travis Pride told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Now, he is one of 1,083 people killed in the U.S. by police, according to Vice News, and one of 314 African Americans dead at the hands of police in another tally. The swift reaction by Arlington Police Chief Johnson shows that if nothing else, law enforcement officials understand the public's need for accountability in such tragedies. "We recognize the importance of these topics, the impact these issues have on communities nationwide," he said on Saturday. Whether there will also be a shift in the way police are trained to react in such situations remains to be seen. Taylor himself tweeted about the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the past year, the New York Times notes. "I don't feel protected by police," he wrote last August, adding in April, "I don't want to die too young."