Ex-Texas cop guilty of murder for killing unarmed black teen
DALLAS (AP) — A white former police officer was convicted of murder today for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager when he fired into a car full of teenagers leaving a house party in suburban Dallas.
Dallas County jurors were not swayed by former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver's claim he feared for his partner's life when he fired into the vehicle. The gunfire killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.
Gasps echoed around the courtroom as the verdict was read. Edwards' relatives sobbed and hugged prosecutors, and waved their hands in the air and proclaimed "Thank you, Jesus!" after the jury left.
Oliver and his partner were responding to a report of underage drinking at a house party when the shooting occurred in April 2017. Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department days later.
Oliver testified during the trial he opened fire after seeing the car move toward his partner. But his partner told jurors he didn't fear for his life.
Oliver also was found not guilty on two lesser charges stemming from the shooting. After the verdict. the judge ordered the jury into proceedings to decide Oliver's punishment after a short break.
"This was a long fought battle," said Daryl Washington, an attorney representing Edwards' family in a civil lawsuit they've filed in the matter.