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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – During a monthly NAACP meeting at New Life Fellowship Church, Arlington residents had their questions ready.
This is a meeting that Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson attends frequently. Tuesday night, he answered the community’s questions and addressed their concerns regarding the investigation into the police-involved shooting that killed 19-year-old Christian Taylor.
“I cannot promise a controversial event won’t happen in Arlington,” explained Johnson. “I can promise we will care and try to respond with a sense of compassion.”
The Thomas family said that they attended Tuesday’s NAACP meeting for their 9-year-old, Jonathan.
“We support the chief. It’s a bad action that happened. But we want to support the chief. He, as a white man, stood up for what was right. And we want our son to understand doing the right thing, is this,” Darryl Thomas explained.
The family shook hands with Johnson inside, commending his transparency and ultimate decision to fire officer-in-training Brad Miller. “This is certainly a good indicator, a first step,” Adrienne Thomas said.
“How bright was the lighting inside of the dealership showroom, and weren’t there surveillance cameras there?” one resident asked the police chief. Johnson responded that room was well lit but, to his knowledge, there was only one camera, and it did not cover the location of the shooting.
There were also questions about trust between police and civilians. “Convince me to trust, so I can show them to trust,” said Connie Harper. Her 17-year-old son was friends with Christian Taylor. She candidly told the chief that the presence of officers at the meeting made her feel uneasy. Harper said that she walked away from the meeting feeling cautiously optimistic.
“We are pleased that this decision was swift. That the police didn’t need to wait for every piece of evidence to make this decision. The officer used poor judgement. We will now wait for the criminal portion of the investigation,” said Alisa Simmons, president of the Arlington branch of the NAACP.