The FBI will assist in an investigation into the death of an unarmed, black Texas teenager, who was fatally shot by a white police officer in the early hours of Saturday, according to a suburban Texas police chief.
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson told reporters during a news conference late Saturday that he had spoken to the FBI's Dallas field office about the death of Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old African-American who was shot as officers responded to a burglary call at an area car dealership.
Johnson stressed that the FBI's involvement "in no way diminishes my confidence" in local officers to conduct the investigation, the Associated Press reported.
Johnson acknowledged that the shooting came at a time when: "our nation has been wrestling with the topics of social injustice, inequities, racism and police misconduct" and that his department would "pledge to act in a transparent manner."
Taylor was killed after officers responded to a call from a security company, which advised that a person had driven a vehicle onto the lot of the Classic Buick GMC in Arlington, west of Dallas. Officers found Taylor "freely roaming" inside the dealership when they arrived, CBS News reported. After Taylor tried to escape from another side of the building, one of the two responding officers used his Taser and the other officer, Brad Miller, 49, fired four rounds with his service weapon, Johnson said.
Miller, who has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, had recently joined the Arlington police after graduating from the police academy in March, and was still in the process of completing a 16-week period of supervised on-the-job field training.
Still images published on social media showed a man believed to be Taylor walking and jumping on cars in the dealership's lot.
— WFAA TV (@wfaachannel8) August 9, 2015
Taylor's father, Adrian Taylor, told CBS Dallas he didn't know why Christian would have been at the car dealership at that time of night.
"You know, it could have been too much drinking, he could have been wrong place at the wrong time, he could have gotten something and he didn't know what he was getting," Adrian Taylor said. "I don't know."
Taylor's shooting came just two days before the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown, at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. Brown's death was the catalyst for nationwide protests and a debate about excessive use of force by U.S. police, which disproportionately targeted black people.
Taylor, a sophomore at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, in social media posts had expressed skepticism about law enforcement and his safety. NBC News credited the tweet below the Taylor's account.
I don't wanna die too younggggg
— October 13th (@he_got_sneaks) July 31, 2015