More than 1,000 mourners attended a funeral on Saturday for Christian Taylor, an unarmed 19-year-old African American fatally shot by a white officer in Texas in an incident that raised fresh attention of police treatment of racial minorities.
Teammates from Angelo State University where Taylor played football and friends remembered him at a church in the Dallas-area city of Arlington as a person full of energy who had much to offer.
Former Arlington police officer Brad Miller, a 49-year-old trainee, was fired this week for what the department said was his poor judgment in events surrounding the shooting last week of Taylor, who had broken into an auto dealership and was vandalizing cars.
A lawyer for Miller said the officer was in the right and his actions saved lives.
Ronnie Goines, senior pastor of the Koinonia Christian Church where the ceremony was held, said Taylor was a passionate man who devoted his life to Christianity.
“He was on fire for the Lord,” Goines said at the funeral.
Goines also had a jab at the former officer, saying he was quick to draw his gun and fire at the unarmed teenager.
Taylor’s shooting came two days before the first anniversary of the death of African American Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The unarmed 18-year-old was fatally shot by a white officer and was one in a series of police killings of unarmed black men in U.S. cities including New York, Baltimore, North Charleston, South Carolina and Cincinnati that renewed the debate on race and justice and led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
On Tuesday, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said Miller made a series of bad decisions in communicating with fellow officers and initially approaching Taylor on his own without a plan for arrest.
Miller, who was undergoing training with the department, fired four rounds at Taylor, who died from gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.
There were five other officers on scene, including the training officer for Miller, Corporal Dale Wiggins, who tried to use a Taser to subdue the suspect, he said.
Police are preparing a criminal case against Miller.
Adrian Taylor, the victim’s brother, fought back tears as he said Christian was “a competitor and a fighter who did not want to be left behind.”
Christian told him that he wanted to change the world and be the next Martin Luther King, his brother said.
GOP strategist delivers devastating analysis of Trump’s ‘Make America White Again’ agenda on CNN
Republican strategist Tara Setmayer on Tuesday delivered a brutal analysis of President Donald Trump's strategy to win reelection, which she dubbed "Make America White Again."
During a panel discussion on Trump ramping up his racist attacks on four Democratic women of color, Setmayer argued that appealing solely to angry white voters was the only hope he had of winning in 2020.
"It's 'Make America White Again,' according to the president of the United States, because everyone in the country is not welcome," she said. "If you have a deference of opinion, you're not welcome."
She then went on to document all the ways Trump is uniquely unfit to judge who does and does not belong in the United States.
Trump raked over the coals by WSJ for ‘politically stupid’ racist comments debacle
In a brutally blunt column from the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors scolded Donald Trump for being "politically stupid" by wading into a dispute between factions within the Democratic Party that has blown up in his face.
Under a headline reading, "Defining Politics Down," the editorial seemed less concerned with Trump's racist attacks and more with the fact that he has made his racism front and center as the country gears up for the 2020 election.
Dear NeverTrumpers: Either help or STFU
Before I offer up a come-to-Jesus moment for the NeverTrumpers, let me say that as many of you know, I’ve defended members of this exiled faction in the past, and continue to stand by the idea that we need to form a coalition to close the loopholes exposed by Donald Trump’s malfeasance as a means of preventing another, perhaps more dangerous monster from sashaying through the Trump-shaped hole in the wall. To be clear: I’m not talking about conceding on policy or platform planks. I’m merely suggesting a detente between voices who all agree that Trump is a menace and his presidency is an existential national crisis.