TX Police Fatal Shooting Likely Will Yield Civil Charges, Not Criminal


A civil suit but no criminal charges are likely against former Arlington, Tx., police officer Brad Miller for fatally shooting an unarmed teen burglary suspect, says the Dallas Morning News. Toby Shook, who formerly headed the Dallas County District Attorney's felony trials division, said Miller's attorney will likely argue he acted in self-defense when he shot Christian Taylor, 19, a college football player. In Texas, it's up to the state to disprove that the officer feared for his life when Taylor disobeyed his commands in an auto showroom and walked aggressively toward him, Shook said. “You've got a guy who is acting highly irrational and acting violent in that he is tearing cars up and he's breaking things,” he said. “When confronted, he comes toward the officer in an aggressive manner. And even when he presents a weapon, he keeps coming in an aggressive manner.”

Taylor was seen in a video before the shooting acting erratically and jumping on a car at a car dealership. He drove a car through the dealership window and allegedly told officers he planned to steal one. The incident will likely look like Miller acted in self-defense, Shook said. That testimony, forensic evidence and the results of Taylor's autopsy will be all a grand jury will have to go on. “You have the officer's version, and the other officer is there,” Shook said. “And the only evidence we have is the other officer's version of what happened. There is not an independent video to dispute the officer's version.” Russell Wilson, a Dallas defense attorney who used to head the public integrity unit at the Dallas County DA's office, agreed with Shook that self-defense laws “are very strong” in Texas and that Miller likely won't be indicted.

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