19-year-old Angelo State University football player Christian Taylor of Texas is the latest unarmed young Black man to be shot and killed by police, but now a new surveillance video is raising even more questions about the role Christian played in the fatal sequence of events that cost him his life.
Initial reports on the confrontation between Christian and rookie Texas police officer Brad Miller stated that Miller was responding to an alleged burglary in progress at a local car dealership when he arrived at the dealership to find an SUV crashed through the window of the establishment and Christian Taylor inside. What actually happened next is still being investigated but the police report states that once inside, Miller confronted Christian, an “altercation” of some type ensued, and Miller fired four shots. Specific details such as whether or not the altercation was physical or which of Miller’s shots were fatal are still unfolding. Some of Christian’s family members were highly skeptical that he would drive a jeep through a car dealership and attempt to break into cars inside of the facility, but new video footage taken from the dealership surveillance camera appears to corroborate the police report.
In the nearly 9-minute clip, Christian is seen inside of the dealership moments before the officers arrived, kicking and stomping on cars before attempting to break the windshield of one of the vehicles. See the surveillance footage below.
The new footage certainly adds clarity to the narrative of whether or not Christian was an “innocent” victim, but the question still remains as to why the officer needed to use his gun if Christian was unarmed and seemingly trapped inside of the dealership with no way out once police arrived. Judging from the video footage, it’s not far-fetched to imagine that Christian was uncooperative with police once they arrived given his erratic behavior beforehand, but much like the question raised in the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown exactly one year ago today, why not tase him if he tried to run or resist RATHER than shoot him if he didn’t have a weapon?
The FBI has now launched an official investigation in to Christian’s death, so hopefully more answers will be given in the days ahead.