Police in Balch Springs, Texas, have announced that the officer who fatally shot a local teen on Saturday has been fired.
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber identified Roy Oliver as the officer who shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver was a 6-year veteran of the department.
A statement released by the Edwards family read, “We are grateful the decision has been made to terminate the officer responsible for Jordan’s murder. Over the past 24 hours Chief Haber has made commendable strides toward justice. However, there remains a long road ahead.”
Police responded Saturday evening to a report of “several underage kids” who were allegedly intoxicated at a residence in Balch Springs. An initial police report claimed that Edwards was in a vehicle that backed up toward the responding officers “in an aggressive manner.” Oliver fired at the vehicle, shooting Edwards, who was in the front passenger seat. Edwards was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A review of bodycam footage caused authorities to correct their initial statements, revealing that the vehicle in which Edwards was traveling was driving away from the officers when shots were fired.
“I unintentionally, incorrectly said the vehicle was backing down the road,” Haber said Monday. “According to the video, the vehicle was moving forward as the officer approached.”
Haber stated, “After reviewing the video, I don’t believe that [the shooting] met our core values.”
Police updated their press release, clarifying that the vehicle did initially back down the street, “and despite multiple verbal commands from the officer, the vehicle continued to reverse, backing into the main roadway. The vehicle then pulled forward as the officer continued to approach the vehicle giving verbal commands. The vehicle continued on the main roadway driving away from the officer.”
The release also noted that “It has been determined Roy Oliver violated several departmental policies.”
According to police, the district attorney’s office will decide whether Oliver faces charges. The Edwards family has asserted that their only desire is to seek justice in the Jordan Edwards’ death.
The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, released a statement Tuesday describing Edwards as a “loving child, with a humble and sharing spirit.”
Merritt contends that Edwards’ 16-year-old brother was driving the car, was initially unaware that his brother had been hit and “attempted to get away from the gunshots.”
According to ABC News, once Edwards’ brother discovered that the 15-year-old had been shot, he signaled another squad car that passed them although it took approximately 10 to 15 minutes for Edwards to receive medical attention.
“While our family attempts to cope with our loss, we ask that at this time the community please refrain from protests and marches in Jordan’s and our family’s name as we prepare for his funeral,” the family’s statement read. “We do not support nor do we condone any violence or threats made against the Balch Springs Police Department or any other law enforcement agencies.”
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