Tuesday, 16 July, 2019

US Justice Department to probe police shooting of Texas teen

Balch Springs City Council member Wanda Adams shakes hands with council member Sammy Moon as Mayor Pro Tem Steven Gorwood prepares for a council meeting on Monday US Justice Department to probe police shooting of Texas teen
Kelley Robertson | 17 May, 2017, 07:16

Police in the USA state of Texas have admitted that a video showing an officer fatally shooting a black 15-year-old shortly after leaving a party contradicts the department's original account of the incident. The 15-year-old was shot in the head with an AR-15 by a white police officer, who has since been fired and charged with murder.

Jordan Edwards' parents Charmaine Edwards, left, and Odell.

The lawyers for the family of the teen killed by police in Balch Springs spoke to reporters after all met with the Dallas County district attorney. She told The Associated Press she did not know the scope or focus of the federal probe.

On May 2, the chief fired Oliver, who was charged with murder three days later, turning himself into police before being released on bail.

Edwards' family and its attorney said Johnson advised them of the federal investigation during a meeting Thursday. Merritt also confirmed the Justice Department's investigation of the shooting. However, conclusions are hard to draw because each case is so different and prosecutions of officers are rare.

An arrest warrant affidavit says Oliver and another officer were dispatched on a call of underage drinking at a party at around 11 p.m. local time (midnight ET), they heard sounds that resembled gunshots outside and were investigating when a Chevrolet Impala that Edwards and the others were in was seen driving away, ignoring an officer's commands to stop. "Body cameras protect officers from false claims of abuse, while also providing the evidence necessary to remove officers who do not uphold the standards of professionalism we demand from law enforcement".

"They understand his name means something to this community and that his name is going to change police brutality throughout the country", Merritt said. Investigators did not support charges against the officer, but found systematic constitutional violations for stopping people without reasonable suspicion, using unreasonable force and other charges. The Dallas suburb's population of nearly 24,000 is 19 percent white, but its police force is 80 percent white.

A combination photo shows Roy Oliver in Parker County Sheriff's Office booking photos in Weatherford, Texas, U.S. on May 5, 2017.

Edwards and four other teenagers were in their auto leaving a reportedly rowdy house party in the Dallas-area suburb when he was shot.


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