BLACK VOICES

Grand Jury Indicts Texas Cop Who Killed Unarmed Black Teenager Jordan Edwards

Officer Roy Oliver shot into a car full of teenagers as they drove away from a party.
07/17/2017 03:00 PM ET
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Updated Jul 17, 2017

A Texas police officer who fired a gun into a car full of teenagers, fatally wounding an unarmed black 15-year-old, was indicted on a murder charge by a Dallas County grand jury Monday.

Balch Springs Officer Roy Oliver shot Jordan Edwards in the head as Edwards, his brothers, and two friends drove away from a party on April 29.

Roy Oliver is shown in this Parker County Sheriff's Office booking photo in Weatherford, Texas, on May 5, 2017.
(Handout/Reuters)

Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing the Edwards family, greeted the news of Monday’s indictment with cautious optimism.

“A murder indictment for Roy Oliver is appropriate,” Merritt wrote on Twitter, “but the fact is it’s been +40 years since a cop was convicted in TX.”

Oliver initially claimed the car, driven by one of Edwards’ brothers, had reversed into the officers, justifying his decision to open fire on the Chevy Impala. 

The Balch Springs Police Department later changed that account, however, after video of the incident showed the teenagers were actually driving away from Oliver when he fired multiple rounds into the packed car.

Compounding matters, Merritt said, the officers on the scene failed to respond properly after the shooting, roughing up the teenagers instead of providing medical attention.

“They were immediately treated as common criminals by other officers; manhandled, intimidated and arrested while their brother lay dying in the front seat,” he said.

Jordan Edwards was fatally shot in the head.
(CBSDFW)

Oliver is out on $700,000 bail, reports Dallas News. No date has been set for the trial. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, notes WFAA.