Hours after a Texas police officer was fired for fatally shooting an unarmed college football player, the athlete’s father said he found little comfort in the decision.
“Relieved wouldn’t be the word,” Adrian Taylor told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. “We are all human and make mistakes and there isn’t a winner in this. You know what I mean? We are both losers.”
Adrian’s 19-year-old son, Christian, was fatally shot on Friday by Arlington, Tex., police officer Brad Miller during a suspected burglary.
On Tuesday, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said Miller had made mistakes during the incident that necessitated his firing, according to the Associated Press.
“This is an extraordinarily difficult case,” Johnson said. “Decisions were made that have catastrophic outcomes.”
The shooting is the latest in a string of deadly interactions between white police officers and unarmed black suspects in America.
Taylor’s killing came just two days before the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, the black 18-year-old fatally shot Aug. 9, 2014, by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
As in Ferguson, Taylor’s death has led to protests.
On Tuesday evening, after Johnson announced Miller’s firing, roughly three dozen people stood outside the police station to protest. Some demanded that Miller be prosecuted for shooting Taylor, who was about to start his sophomore year at Angelo State University in West Texas.
“He got what he deserved,” Ricinda Turner, said of the police officer, according to the Dallas Morning News. “I’m just glad that he didn’t get off with killing him.”
But Taylor’s father said he felt little satisfaction in knowing that the rookie cop who killed his son had been fired.
“I’m not a man of revenge, and the results can’t bring my son back,” Adrian Taylor said. He added that he and his family were primarily concerned with burying Christian, not holding Miller to account.
“We’ll deal with that when the time comes,” he said of the possibility that Miller could be criminally charged for the killing. Taylor said he even sympathized with the cop.
“Right now I just feel sorry for my family and his family and for the whole nation,” Taylor said. “I just hope it makes a change because this is happening too much.”
In the days since his son’s death, Taylor has complained of being kept in the dark by authorities. He told the Guardian that he only learned the details of Christian’s death through a series of leaked video and audio clips, some of them reportedly obtained and released by the hacking group Anonymous.
“I’m having to find out about how CJ died on social media,” he said, using his son’s nickname.
On Tuesday, Taylor told The Washington Post that he still had no answers as to why his son had spent his last moments smashing cars and store windows at an Arlington car dealership.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I only know what you know. I don’t know any more information than anybody else in the world,” he said. “We were hoping of finding out some more information because that [person in the video] was not my son.”
Surveillance videos from the incident show Christian Taylor pulling up to the Classic Buick GMC car dealership on Friday at about 1 a.m. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back then left his own car and began wandering around the dealership’s parking lot before smashing the windows of several vehicles.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Michael E. Miller