Suburban Dallas police fires officer for
fatally shooting teen in car
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[May 03, 2017]
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A suburban
Dallas police force fired an officer on Tuesday for shooting a rifle
into a car of unarmed teenagers driving away from him, killing a
15-year-old boy and sparking outrage in the primarily black and Hispanic
community where the incident took place.
The Balch Springs Police Department said in a statement it dismissed
officer Roy Oliver for violating several department policies, adding it
"cannot give further details on which policies have been violated since
Roy Oliver can appeal the termination."
The department said officers were responding to a disturbance on
Saturday night and heard multiple gunshots. They came across the vehicle
with the teens, ordered it to stop, but it pulled away.
Jordan Edwards, a black high school student described by family and
friends as a stand-out student and athlete, was struck by a bullet to
the head and died. Two of his brothers were in the car and watched him
die, a family lawyer said.
Police body-camera footage from the scene was reviewed before the
department made its decision, but the tape has not been released to the
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber told a news conference the
video contradicted an earlier version he had released of the events
where he said the car was in reverse and heading toward the officer.
Haber told reporters he released the mistaken information based on an
account given to him by the officer and that the video recording showed
the car was moving away.
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The Edwards family said in a statement it wanted the officer to be
arrested for murder.
"The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated," said
the family statement released by attorney S. Lee Merritt.
Oliver's lawyer, Cindy Stormer, told the Dallas Morning News that
since the case is under investigation, "we cannot make any comments
at this time."
The family has asked the community to refrain from protests as it
prepares for the funeral, but many residents in Balch Springs, about
15 miles (24 km) southeast of Dallas, have told local media that
racial bias may have been a factor in the death.
"Great kid. Awesome parents. He was not a thug. This shouldn't
happen to him," Chris Cano, whose son played football with Edwards,
told local TV station WFAA.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Lisa Maria
Garza in Dallas; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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