Shots fired in Ferguson. It was the headline one year ago, and again today.
Yesterday, a peaceful vigil in Ferguson turned ugly with rocks and bottles thrown at protesters and a police shooting of a man police say fired first. He’s in critical condition at a hospital, and details of the shooting remain vague. We know there was an exchange of bullets.
On this same weekend, here in Texas, another police shooting where certain circumstances seem now familiar. A white officer opens fire on a black suspect who is unarmed. 19-year-old Christian Taylor, a sophomore at Angelo State University, was pronounced dead at the scene.
But, there are other elements, which occur in the lead up which make this scene unique.
Police in Arlington near Dallas were responding to a call of a disturbance at a car dealership. A video shows an SUV driven through the front glass doors of the business.
It’s not yet clear whether the suspect was intoxicated at the time, but there is no video of what happened next. The Arlington police are saying the investigation is underway, the officer is on administrative leave, but there are far more questions than answers.
For the latest on the investigation, the Standard speaks with Mitch Mitchell a reporter for the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
On how the community views Christian Taylor:
“The community is reacting to the loss of a young man who they thought had a bright future – not the person that has been show in the video. The person show in the video is really the direct opposite of what his family, his pastor, his friends are telling you that Mr. Taylor was about.”
On how critics say the police should have responded:
“Even his family members acknowledge that it seems like Mr. Taylor was involved in an act that needed some sort of intervention, but they dispute the level of force that was brought against him…They don’t see how he could have posed a threat in his basketball shorts at 5’7″, 5’8″ and 165 to 180 pounds.”
On the reaction in Arlington:
“Not another one. The family is really trying to wait for more information because the investigation, what actually happened inside that dealership, has not been revealed yet…It seems like the police want to be open and forthcoming about whatever they find out, but they want to be thorough, and they’re willing to give them some leeway.”
On next steps:
“We’re expecting police to release what video and audio of the burglary call that they have. I think it was Saturday evening the police chief said he expected that to be released in the next 7-10 days.”