‘Landmark decision: Oliver’s conviction marked the first time in more than 40 years since an on-duty cop has been found guilty of killing someone in a shooting in Texas’
Texas cop is convicted in murder of boy, 15, after shooting into a car of unarmed black teens as they drove from a house party
Roy Oliver shot into a car full of unarmed black teenagers at a party and left a 15-year-old dead in Balch Spring, near Dallas, Texas in April 2017
Oliver, 38, has been found guilty of murder, but he was acquitted
on two counts of aggravated assault for firing his rifle into the car full of teenagers
Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat and trying to leave the party, was shot in the back of the head and died at the scene in front of his brother
Oliver, who is white and has already been fired from the police, opened fire on a car full of unarmed black teens leaving a house party
Oliver claimed that he had ‘no choice’ but to open fire after fearing for his partner, but partner Tyler Gross has previously testified that he was never in fear of his life
Faces up to life in prison
Former Dallas cop Roy Oliver [enter] was found guilty of murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards after he shot at a car full of unarmed black teenagers leaving a house party. He was, however, found not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault for firing his rifle into the car full of teenagers
A white Texas police officer who shot into a car full of unarmed black teenagers at a party and left a 15-year-old dead has been found guilty of murder.
Roy Oliver, 38, has been convicted for firing into the car full of teenagers pulling out from a party in Balch Springs near Dallas, Texas in April 2017. His reckless action left one of the teens, Jordan Edwards dead.
He was, however, found not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault for firing his rifle into the car full of teenagers.
Related: Footage upstages ‘Alternative facts’ in police account of the shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards – cops rule homicide as Chief says “I misspoke”
Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat and trying to leave the party, was shot in the back of the head and died at the scene in front of his brother.
Oliver, who has already been fired from the Balch Springs Police Department, testified that he opened fire after seeing the car move toward his partner.
Roy Oliver Tuesday was found guilty of murdering Jordan Edwards after he shot at a car full of unarmed black teenagers who were leaving the chaos of a house party.
Oliver bows his head as he confers with his defense attorney Bob Gill at his sentence hearing on Tuesday
The former cop told jurors last week that he thought his partner, Officer Tyler Gross, was in danger. Gross told jurors he didn’t fear for his life and never felt the need to fire his weapon.The Dallas County jury deliberated for around 12 hours for a period of two days before deciding on a verdict, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Edwards’ family clapped and cheered after the verdict was read.
15-year-old Jordan Edwards [photo], was sitting in the front passenger seat and trying to leave the party with his brother when Oliver shot him in the head
The courtroom erupted in cries and cheers from Edwards’ family afterward as they clapped and hugged each other.
Odell Edwards, Jordan Edwards’ father, said his family is relieved and happy. “It’s been a long time, hard year and we’re just really happy,” he said, holding back tears. “We did it.”
The sense of vindication was pervasive as one woman kept saying “God is good, God is good,” in the hallway outside the courtroom, hugging others.
Charmaine and Odell Edwards grieve when it appeared no one was going to be held accountable for the death of their teenage son last year
Oliver was immediately taken into custody and his bond was revoked.
The jury will now listen to testimony from Jordan’s family, friends, and teachers before determining Oliver’s sentence.
He faces up to life in prison.
Related: Texas police officer shoots into car full of unarmed teen boys fleeing trouble at a raucous house party, kills 15-year-old high school freshman, Jordan Edwards
Tuesday’s conviction marked the first time in more than 40 years since an on-duty cop has been found guilty of killing someone in a shooting in Texas.
‘It’s about Tamir Rice. It’s about Walter Scott. It’s about Alton Sterling,’ Edwards’ attorney, Daryl Washington, said after the verdict was read, naming other men who and boys who had been killed by officers across America.
‘It’s about every unarmed African-American, who has been killed and who has not gotten justice.’
Jordan’s death launched the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs into a national conversation on issues of law enforcement and race. The department fired officer Roy Oliver for his role in the death of the teen.
But prosecutors described Oliver as out of control and looking for a reason to kill. They argued that his firing into the car wasn’t reasonable.
The shooting came after Oliver and Gross, had broken up a large house party following a report of underage drinking.
Both officers reportedly, were inside the venue of the party when they heard gunfire outside and responded. The shots were s later determined to have been fired near a nursing home in the area.
Officer Oliver retrieved his rifle and went toward partner, officer Gross, who was ordering the car carrying Edwards to stop. He claimed his partner had a sense of urgency in his voice.
Oliver testified that he saw the car back up and stop for a second before moving forward and going toward Gross. He claimed he saw movement from a passenger’s silhouette inside the vehicle, and thought Gross had found a shooter or shooters or at least some information on the gunfire.
A vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon, so he was left with no choice but to fire his rifle., Oliver said.
During his testimony, Oliver said it was ‘very sickening’ when he realized he had killed the boy. ‘I was in shock for days,’ he said.
Gross, however, testified that he didn’t feel like the vehicle was trying to hit him
Two teenagers who were also at the party testified last week that they were across the street when Oliver fired. The teens, Eric Knight and Jeremy Seaton, said they could not see a justification for the gunfire. Seaton said the car was not facing an officer at the time and had steered into the wrong lane of traffic to avoid officers.
The prosecution said all five shots were fired by Oliver after the car had passed Gross. Investigators also said no guns were found in the teens’ vehicle.
Body-cam footage shown during the trial showed Jordan’s brother and his friends all putting their hands outside the car’s windows after he was shot.
Officer Jeremy Chamblee testified that the teens were ‘begging’ for help after Jordan was killed.: “I specifically heard the driver stating needing help cause his brother was shot dead in the vehicle by a police officer,” Chamblee said.
Chamblee also revealed that Jordan’s brother asked if they could pray together following the teen’s death: “He was asking God to watch over his brother if he doesn’t make it, to keep him safe,” Chamblee recalled.
Kevon Edwards, the older brother of the victim gets a hug from Dallas County DA Faith Johnson. Kevon was present when his baby brother was shot and killed by officer Oliver
Oliver also testified the shooting could have been prevented if one of the bystanders had waved at him and reported the shooters near the nursing home had left the scene.
‘It would have changed the outcome,’ he said.
The defense also asked Oliver about an April 2017 incident in which he was rear ended while off duty and drew his weapon.
Police say he pointed the weapon at the ground after the collision. He was later indicted on two counts of aggravated assault tied to the incident.
Oliver, who said he was driving with his wife and young son at the time, testified he did hold his firearm up against his chest during the encounter.
Defense attorney Bob Gill told the jury in an opening statement last Thursday that the law requires them to view the situation through Oliver’s perspective.
Prosecutor Michael Snipes delivers his closing argument on Monday against the backdrop of the projected image of Jordan Edwards
‘We have to look at it how Roy Oliver saw it at the time and what he saw was a significant threat to his partner.’
‘They go out, they sacrifice, they put their life on the line to protect us and keep us safe. To protect and serve,’ Lewis said during his closing statement.
‘But keep in mind that is their duty to protect and to serve. When we have police officers like the defendant in this case, Roy Oliver, who go out and they hurt our citizens, that’s where it stops.’
‘That’s where it must stop and you, as the jury, in these cases today have a say in stopping defendants like Roy Oliver.’