FBI Will Not Join Arlington Police Investigation Into Shooting Death Of Christian Taylor
The FBI says it will not join the investigation of an Arlington police officer's shooting of an unarmed teenage burglary suspect by police gunfire.
FBI Dallas spokeswoman Allison Mahan said Monday that the agency "has full confidence in the ability" of Arlington police and local prosecutors to investigate what happened in the Friday death of 19-year-old Christian Taylor.
A local police officer who was undergoing field training shot four times at Taylor, hitting him at least twice, during a burglary call at a local car dealership. Police say officers arriving to a burglary call found Taylor roaming inside the dealership's showroom early Friday morning. Police have said he refused to surrender and then tried to escape.
The case has received national attention because Taylor is black and the officer, Brad Miller, is white.
Mahan said the FBI would likely join the case "if in the course of the investigation, information comes to light of a potential civil rights violation."
Arlington police say they are aware of the FBI's decision. Spokeswoman Tiara Richard said Monday that Arlington police had no comment on the FBI's decision. Richard said the police department would still be conducting the investigation as it would have.
About 35 demonstrators gathered outside Arlington police headquarters Monday night to protest the police shooting.
The group expressed anger as they chanted the names of unarmed black men who have been shot by police, including Taylor.
There were no arrests during the demonstration.
The Arlington mayor says it's vital that the teen's family, the community and members of the police force have confidence in the investigation.
In a "Community Letter About Shooting of Christian Taylor" posted Monday on the city website, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams promised transparency.
The mayor acknowledged that "the racial dynamics of police incidents around the country have driven a wedge between community groups." He said he doesn't want that to happen in the Arlington.
He also promised that "if it is found that the law or police procedures were not followed, people will be held accountable."