BALCH SPRINGS, Texas
(AP) — Police in suburban Dallas fired the officer Tuesday, May 2, who shot and killed a black 15-year-old boy riding in a vehicle leaving a chaotic house party, taking the swift action sought by the teenager’s family and protesters who link the case to other deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
The Balch Springs, Texas, officer, identified as Roy Oliver, was terminated for violating department policies in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards, police chief Jonathan Haber said.
Edwards, a high school freshman, was leaving the party with his two brothers and two other teenagers Saturday night. Police arrived at the scene to investigate an underage drinking complaint and spotted the vehicle leaving. Oliver opened fire as the teenagers were driving away.
Shots from his rifle pierced the front side passenger window, hitting Edwards in the front seat, according to Edwards’ family attorneys, Lee Merritt and Jasmine Crockett. His 16-year-old brother was driving.
Haber said Oliver, who joined the department in 2011, had committed “several” violations of policy, but wouldn’t say what they were because Oliver is entitled to appeal his firing. The Dallas County district attorney and the Dallas County sheriff’s office are investigating the case. The race of the fired officer was not revealed.
Police originally said the teenagers’ vehicle was reversing “in an aggressive manner” toward officers, but Haber said Monday that video taken at the scene proved the vehicle was actually driving away.
The police department’s latest statement, released Tuesday night, says officers entering the house heard gunshots ring out during a “chaotic scene with numerous people running away from the location.” As officers exited the house, they encountered the vehicle backing out onto a main road and driving away despite their attempts to tell the driver to stop, the new statement said.
The Dallas County medical examiner ruled Edwards’ death a homicide.
Haber said Monday that his department wrongly described
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