By Matt Agorist
Balch Springs, TX — On a Saturday night in a North Texas town in 2017, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was murdered by a Balch Springs police officer. Jordan was a passenger in a car that had merely driven away from a party. Immediately after police killed him, the chief parrotted his officer’s false claim of fearing for his life as the vehicle drove “aggressively toward him.”
After watching the body-camera footage, however, the chief realized he’d spread a lie. So, he did the right thing and told the public the truth — the car was not a threat and was driving away.
Police Chief Jonathan Haber admitted that the car full of innocent teenagers was driving away from the officer when he raised his AR-15 and shot Jordan Edwards in the head.
“It did not meet our core values,” Haber said of the officer’s actions.
Based on the extensive reporting the Free Thought Project has done on officers shooting into vehicles, we predicted the original story would probably not be backed up by the body-camera footage, and we were correct.
The shooting was so egregious that Oliver was found guilty of murder in 2018 and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
Now, six years after Balch Springs Police officer Roy Oliver raised his AR-15 and dumped multiple rounds into a car full of innocent children — executing one of them — Jordan’s family has the rest of their closure. The family’s federal civil rights trial began last week and concluded on Monday with a $26.1 million settlement: $8.5 million to Edwards’ father, Odell, for damages; $2.1 million in estate for damages such as mental anguish and funeral expenses; and $11 million in punitive damages.
“It’s never been about the money, just bringing justice for my son,” Jordan’s father, Odell Edwards said. “Money can’t bring him back. I would rather have him next to me now.”
“I don’t think there is another case in the country where an officer was convicted and then had to come before a civil trial because in most cases there is a settlement,” said family attorney Daryl K. Washington.
“I grieve for the family and what they are going through,” Oliver said during the trial. When talking about the incident, he said, “I was just in fear that he was moving for a firearm.”
But there never was a gun.
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As we reported at the time, according to Balch Springs police department’s original report, they were responding to a party at which underage drinking was allegedly taking place. Police claimed there were reports of intoxicated teenagers moving along the 12300 block of Baron Drive around 11 p.m. on April 29, 2017.
However, as we’ve now learned, the people who called the police over the party did not know if there was any drinking. Also, when the initial officer entered the house party, they found no evidence of drinking.
As the Dallas News reported at the time:
Neighbors said there were about 100 teens at the party Saturday night. Dora Daniels, who lives on Baron Drive, said the partygoers were blocking people’s driveways and that her son called police to ask them to check out the party because of possible underage drinking.
Daniels said she wasn’t sure whether there was alcohol at the party.
When the first officer arrived, kids began to scatter “like ants,” Daniels said. A second officer arrived soon after.
Lisa Roberson, who was out of town when her son threw the party without her approval, said a male officer came into the house to talk to her son and to tell partygoers to leave. Roberson said her son told her there was no drinking in the house.
As the kids scattered, neighbors reported hearing three or four shots from what sounded like a pistol or small gun. They then described another two or three shots that sounded like they came from a large gun, possibly a rifle. These were the fatal shots that killed Jordan Edwards fired by Oliver.
All the typical smearing and victim shaming — usually carried out by the department in cases like this one — were ineffective in this tragic case as Jordan was a model kid, athlete, and a straight-A student.
Source: The Free Thought Project
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.
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