Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Texas Officer Who Killed Jordan Edwards Has Been Fired


The police officer who shot and killed a Black 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in suburban Dallas was sacked on Tuesday, as the teenager's family and protesters still demanding answers and justice.

Edwards, his brothers and two friends were leaving a house party in the Dallas suburb as Oliver and a second officer arrived to investigate possible underage drinking at the party, which was reported by a neighbor, the News reported.

Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said the decision to terminate Roy Oliver was based on an internal review of body camera footage from Oliver and another officer at the scene. Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber Monday said the auto was driving away from officers, not reversing toward them as officials had originally said. Haber said that Oliver's conduct violated departmental policies but would not expand upon which specific policies had been violated.

The department's initial account was that Edwards was in a auto that was being driven in reverse in an "aggressive manner" when an officer opened fire, striking and killing him.

"You have my assurances my department will continue to be responsive, transparent and accountable", Haber said.

Jordan's relatives expressed gratitude that Oliver had been fired but said in a written statement, "There remains a long road ahead".

Haber said the Dallas County Sheriff's Department is investigating the shooting as a potential crime, but he did not indicate if the officer will face charges. The vehicle did initially reverse but then accelerated forward and attempted to leave the premises when Oliver shot Edwards.

Jordan's family has called for the officer to face criminal charges. While inside the house trying to locate the homeowners, police heard gunshots outside. "The vehicle continued the main roadway driving away from the officer as an officer shot into the vehicle striking the passenger". "Not only have Jordan's brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless murder", the statement said.

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Shortly after Haber's announcement regarding Oliver's firing, Edwards' family released a new press statement. But Haber told reporters that video footage showed the vehicle was "moving forward as the officers approached", according to the Associated Press.

At first, Balch Springs police said the vehicle carrying Edwards was aggressively moving in reverse toward police.

Attorneys for the family, Lee Merritt and Jasmine Crockett, praised the police department for its quick action to fire the officer.

Earlier Tuesday, the Edwards family asked that no protests or marches be held in Jordan Edward's name. "Their young lives will forever be altered". His brother drove away, but stopped and flagged down officers about a block away after he and the other boys realized Edwards had been shot.

"The incident is recent and still being investigated", she said.

Meritt said police also detained Jordan's father when he showed up at the station asking about his children.

"Once again our nation has been gripped with the death of an unarmed African-American teenager after what seemingly appeared to be the aggressive tactics of a law enforcement official".

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