On April 29, of 2017 a white police officer by the name of Roy Oliver shot and killed high school freshman Jordan Edwards. Oliver was one of two officers who responded to reports of drunken teens at a house party that night when they heard shots ring out.
Oliver and the other officer, Tyler Gross were inside the house at the time and ran out to see where the gunfire was coming from. The Dallas Morning News that Oliver ran to his car to get his rifle while Gross ran toward where he thought he heard the shots.
At the time, Edwards, his two brothers, and two friends were leaving the party in a black Chevrolet Impala that belonged to the teen’s father. Edward’s brother was unable to drive up the road becuase it was blocked so he backed up onto a nearby road, court documents showed.
Batch Springs Police Cheif Jonathan Haber initially reported that the car Edwards was riding in backed down the road in an aggressive manner towards officers, prompting Oliver to fire his weapon into the car. However, footage of the incident showed that the teenagers were actually driving away when the officer opened fire.
Oliver fired his gun into the front passenger window, hitting Edwards in the head. The other teens in the car were unharmed. The Dallas County Sheriffs Department charged Oliver with murder in May of 2017, less than a week after the shooting.
Fast forward, The teenagers who were at the scene say the Officer had no reason to shoot in the car. Among the witnesses called to the stand Friday were Eric Knight and Jeremy Seaton, who told jurors they were across the street when the shooting took place. Their testimony came on the second day of the murder trial. The teenagers, who attended the party, said they could not see a justification for the gunfire.
Oliver has said he feared for his and his partner’s safety when the car speed by. But his partner testified Thursday that he did not fear for his life and never felt the need to fire his weapon. Hopefully, a stiff punishment will be handed down to this officer so other officers who conduct themselves in this same manner will think twice.