The father of Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old Texan who was gunned down by police officers last week, is claiming that authorities have remained silent, withholding information in relation to his son’s death, The Guardian reports.
“They won’t even talk to me,” Adrian Taylor told the news site. He revealed that he only learned some details about his son’s death through leaked video and audio clips. “I’m having to find out about how C.J. died on social media,” he said, using his son’s nickname.
According to the news site, Arlington, Texas, Police Chief Will Johnson announced that he had extended an invitation to the FBI to take part in the investigation, which he promised would be transparent but “at times frustratingly slow.”
Early last Friday, around 1 a.m., the teen football player reportedly started behaving erratically at a Classic Buick GMC car dealership in Arlington. According to video from the incident, Christian Taylor appears to exit the vehicle he was driving and begins vandalizing and jumping up onto several cars in the dealership, even shattering the windshield of one car. Although the dealership’s alarms go off, the 19-year-old remains unfazed.
Christian Taylor then runs up and down between rows of cars, eventually going back into his own car, before driving toward the dealership’s showroom and reportedly crashing his car into the wall of the showroom.
Details, however, start getting murky after this point. It is believed that the teen once again exited his vehicle and started “roaming freely” on foot inside the showroom, the police chief said, according to The Guardian.
Officers on the scene were rookie Brad Miller and his training officer, a 19-year veteran. It was Miller—who had no prior law-enforcement experience and had just completed a 16-week field-training program—who shot Christian Taylor four times in the stomach, chest and neck. His training partner used a Taser on the teen.
According to The Guardian, neither officer was wearing a body camera. And some of the video and audio files conflict with one another. One clip makes it seem as if Miller shot Christian Taylor within seconds of seeing him, while in another it seems as if several minutes pass before the fatal shooting.
Adrian Taylor said that he didn’t know why his son was behaving in that manner, adding that the death was unnecessary. “Maybe he had been drinking, maybe he was on something, I don’t know,” the grieving father told The Guardian. “But you don’t kill somebody for that. You don’t just take a life.”
Adrian Taylor pointed out that his son was unarmed, and even if he was trying to steal a car, the issue could have been resolved without his son dying. “The insurance check would have been cut next week, the car would have been paid for and my son would still be alive,” he said.
“Until we get concrete facts, we won’t know what happened,” Christian’s older brother, Joshua, told Reuters, The Guardian notes. “He was a really good guy. He was family-oriented. He was an A student and he had everything going for him.”
Read more at The Guardian.