A former Balch Springs, TX police officer was indicted on murder charges on Monday for fatally shooting a black teenager in April.
Roy Oliver, 37, killed 15-year old Jordan Edwards on April 29 when he shot into a vehicle with five teenagers inside who were leaving a party Olver was called to break up. Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber had initially said that the vehicle was “aggressively backing up” towards Oliver, but body camera footage later showed Oliver firing his AR-15 rifle into the vehicle containing Edwards as it drove away. Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was shot in the head. Police did not find any drugs or alcohol at the party.
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) July 17, 2017
In addition to the murder charge, Oliver — who was fired from the department in May — is also facing four counts of aggravated assault related to each of the other passengers in the car. Oliver was also indicted on two aggravated assault charges relating to an unrelated road rage incident that took place weeks prior.
According to his family, Edwards was a high school freshman and honor roll student who loved football. After his death, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter, as well as other activists, demanded accountability from the police department for Edwards’ death and initially giving a false report.
The indictment comes after none of the trials for the officers involved in the shooting deaths of black males Samuel DuBose, Sylville Smith and Philando Castile ended in a conviction. Edwards’ family faces long odds for justice, as the last time police officer to be convicted of murder in Dallas County was in 1973.
The cop who murdered Jordan Edwards has just been indicted. Lets keep pressure to break the 43+ yr pattern of no conviction in Texas. #BLM
— Kristian Steffany🌹 (@kksteffany) July 17, 2017
So far this year, police have fatally shot 543 people, of which one out of five were black.