Texas

In an Uncommon Development, the Texas Cop Who Shot Jordan Edwards Is Found Guilty of Murder

Jordan Edwards and his friends were driving away from a party when Roy Oliver shot and killed the 15-year-old.

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|||Mesquite Independent School District
Mesquite Independent School District

Police officers aren't usually found guilty of murder, even when the evidence is pretty damning. Yesterday saw a rare exception to that rule.

The case involves 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who attended a house party in Balch Springs, Texas, in May 2017. When police arrived, he and his friends attempted to leave in a vehicle. Officer Roy Oliver shot into the car and killed Edwards, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

As Reason previously reported, Oliver was responding to a call about underaged drinking at the party. He initially defended the shooting by saying that the car in which Edwards sat was backing up "in an aggressive manner" toward him and his partner. Police Chief Jonathan Haber would later publicly contradict Oliver, saying that the car was actually driving forward.

According to family attorney Lee Merritt, police later detained Edwards' 16-year-old brother without cause and did not inform him of his brother's death until later. Merritt also says that Oliver and the others in the vehicle were not drinking and were not the reason the police were called. The family sought to preempt any negative characterizations of Edwards by revealing that he was straight-A student, a ninth grader, a nonviolent person, and a young black teen whose father was present in his life.

The department fired Oliver just days after the shooting. And yesterday, after deliberating for 13 hours, a jury found him guilty of murder. They found him not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant.

Oliver maintained during the trial that he "had no other option but to use lethal force," and he retreated to his original story by saying, "A car is a deadly weapon." But the jury was unconvinced, in part because there was body camera footage that told a different story. The footage shows other officers interacting with the partygoers peacefully just before gunshots rang in the distance, and it shows Oliver firing five shots into the vehicle as it drives away.

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  1. Oliver maintained during the trial that he “had no other option but to use lethal force,” and he retreated to his original story by saying, “A car is a deadly weapon.”

    Just because the teen victims were not as proficient aiming their deadly weapon as this brave first responder doesn’t mean he was in any less danger!

    1. One could say that his fear for his life was justified because Texas has the death penalty for murder.

  2. The family sought to preempt any negative characterizations of Edwards by revealing that he was straight-A student, a ninth grader, a nonviolent person, and a young black teen whose father was present in his life.

    Unfortunately, this matters.

    1. I wonder if that’s what swayed this jury. I sure hope not.

      1. If it works I’ll deal with it, but yeah.

      2. What swayed the jury was the overwhelming evidence pointing to this parasite’s guilt.

        When cops are convicted of murder two, the death penalty should apply. Death penalty advocates who disagree reveal that they are cucks.

        1. A cop going to jail is probably worse than a death sentence.

        2. I’ve often thought that the death penalty should be mostly reserved for agents of the state who misbehave.

          1. Although I find the taking of any life by the state to be reprehensible, if it is going to happen, it should be reserved for the state’s agents, particularly those agents with a gun and a badge.

      3. It’s not hugely unreasonable. All those factors make it less plausible that he was genuinely attempting to harm the cop.

        Of course, the fact that he was a passenger in a car driving away from the cop makes it already so unlikely…

  3. Let every police officer in the US be on notice: stop shooting people when you aren’t in danger.

    Also, how about minding your own business on underage drinking?

    1. And let the busy body who called that in know that they bear some responsibility in that man’s death. Not much, but some.

      1. Good point.

  4. Jordan’s friends and relatives filled the courtroom every day. But there was no outpouring of law enforcement support, despite social media posts by Oliver’s union that “all interested officers are encouraged to attend and show support.”

    A bridge too far for that thin blue line?

    1. They probably had something else against him.

        1. Apparently he was uncommonly antisocial for even a police officer.

          Money quote:

          “The exam also found that ‘his sense of entitlement may be so strong that the possibility of his behaving in an antisocial manner must be considered,’ the court filing shows.”

  5. too hot down here to have to deal w/not-guilty riot anyway

  6. Does he still get a pension?

    1. Probably throw in the disability extension, since a jail cell is hardly conducive to doing his job.

  7. Good! If this happens a few more times it might even encourage some departments to revise their rules of engagement and take proper training far more seriously.

  8. Twice as many white people are killed by cops every year than black people. Have any of those cops gone to jail? Like I actually want to know, since the press ONLY reports on these things when they fit a certain narrative.

    1. And there are far more than twice as many white people as black people? Whose point are you trying to make?

      1. I believe the point is that for every black person killed by cops, two white people suffer the same fate. However the number of media reports does not reflect this fact.

        1. Would you not also agree that the black community tends to care more about police shootings and general misconduct than the white community? I agree that coverage of policing often focuses too narrowly on race when there are other relevant issues. But at the same time when the outcry is disproportionate (largely IMO because black people are more likely on a per capita basis to experience police misconduct or know people who have experienced it) it’s not all that surprising that the coverage is disproportionately focused. I do think the media coverage needs to improve, but there’s also a lot of people out there who need to care more about this issue, which would also provide more incentive for the media to cover things more proportionately.

          1. Would you not also agree that the black community tends to care more about police shootings and general misconduct than the white community?

            Yeah. Mainly because there isn’t a such thing as “the white community.” You don’t see many urban areas where lots of poor white people live closely together. Poor whites tend to be spread out in the burbs, while poor blacks are often crammed together in the projects. As such they have a sense of community that whites do not have, and the high population density makes them easier to be organized.
            It also means lots of poor people together, and poor people tend to have more criminality than not-poor people, as well more witnesses when cops behave badly. Which often isn’t the case when the victim is white.

            1. Excellent point, sarcasmic.

          2. This is a great point.

      2. Yeah, but the murder rate is over 7X higher and all violent crime is like 5X higher, while police shootings are like 2.5X higher. There is zero evidence a cop is more likely to shoot a black person than a white person in the same situation. Some studies have shown a slight variation in the opposite direction.

        The racial breakdown of police shootings almost perfectly matches up with the racial breakdown of poverty. I’m willing to bet a poor white person is more likely to be killed by cops than a middle class black man.

        Race plays an increasingly smaller role in police shootings (although that is a recent development) so focusing entirely on race is a distraction from solving the real problems. Any solution focused on race will not solve anything. The underlying culture of police training and the power of police unions is the problem, regardless of race. Just look at Baltimore!

        And none of this explains the extremely disparate media coverage that intentionally pushes narratives, and is just another reason poor white people think that the media hates them a lot more than black people. Most Americans think cops don’t shoot white people. I see that argument all the time. Only after showing them the WaPo tracker do they believe me. That is a problem.

        1. The racial breakdown of police shootings almost perfectly matches up with the racial breakdown of poverty. I’m willing to bet a poor white person is more likely to be killed by cops than a middle class black man.

          I agree with this. Race and socioeconomic class are too often confused. Class has been shown in virtually every study to be the dominant factor, race is much smaller (it’s still a factor, just smaller). This also applies to your 7x and 5x numbers too.

          1. I’ve been on both sides of the socioeconomic coin when it comes to how cops treat people. If you’re poor you’re gonna get treated like shit by the cops. Doesn’t matter what your race is.

            1. Hey, OT: Would you mind if I punched Tulpa? Yeah, even a NAP freak like me is willing to violate it for the thrill of giving someone like Tulpa a bloody nose.

              1. Nah. If you did then he might learn his lesson and quit living a lonely, miserable and worthless life, harassing strangers on the internet. I’d rather he languish in his mom’s basement, without purpose, until he finally does the world a favor and kills himself.

  9. Now rot in jail punk.

    And I hope the person who called the police carries some guilt on their conscience.

    1. Guilt? Their call led to the removal of a punk off our formerly safe streets.

  10. Has he been sentenced yet?

    Just because he’s been found guilty doesn’t mean he’ll get an appropriate sentence. Don’t hold your breath hoping he’ll do time in general population.

  11. Even when a car is used as a deadly weapon, shooting one of the passengers doesn’t tend to stop it.

  12. The lesson here seems to be that if you have overwhelming evidence that shows negligence and the actions taken by the police are egregious then maybe juries will consider convicting. It’s not much, but I guess it’s something.

    1. The lesson as I see it is that cops, unlike the peasant class, are considered innocent until proven guilty without any reasonable doubt.

    2. I’ll agree that it’s probably better than nothing.

      Although, there will be far, far, far too many people who will point at this one incident and then exclaim, “See! Problem solved!”

  13. I can see Man Slaughter, but Murder? Doesnt Murder require pre-meditation. The article doesnt;t mention it but I assume it second-degree at the most. Malice sure but premeditations seems a stretch.

  14. Perhaps they need to refine the algorithm’s used in their pre-employment psych evals.

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