Ex-cop guilty of killing unarmed black teen
A white ex-police officer was convicted of murder Tuesday for fatally shooting a black, unarmed 15-year-old boy while firing into a car packed with teenagers in suburban Dallas, marking a rare guilty verdict in a police shooting case.
Dallas County jurors were not swayed by Roy Oliver’s claim that he feared for his partner’s life when he fired into the vehicle as it drove away from a large house party in Balch Springs in April 2017. The gunfire killed 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, waved their hands in the air and proclaimed “Thank you, Jesus!” after the jury left.
His father, Odell Edwards, briefly spoke outside the courtroom before heading back in to begin listening to the sentencing phase of the trial. He said he was thankful for the decision of the jury – which featured two black members out of 12 jurors and two alternates – and felt like jumping for joy.
Oliver and his partner were responding to a report of underage drinking at the house party. Police initially said the vehicle backed up toward officers “in an aggressive manner,” but later said that bodycam video showed the vehicle was moving forward as officers approached. Oliver was fired just days after the shooting.
Oliver testified during the trial that he opened fire after seeing the car move toward his partner. But his partner told jurors he didn’t fear for his life.