DALLAS – A white former Texas police officer was found guilty of murder in Tuesday’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen last year as the boy left a house party in a car full of teenagers.
Roy Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs Police days after the April 2017 shooting. Oliver killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards after the then-officer fired into a moving car carrying five black teenagers leaving a local party. Edwards was in the passenger seat.
Oliver testified at the Dallas County trial that he opened fire after seeing the car to move in the direction of his partner. He says that he thought his partner was in danger. But his partner told jurors he did not fear for his life, and never felt the need to fire his weapon.
The recording started with the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs in a national conversation on the issues of enforcement of the law and the race. Experts say that in anticipation of the lawsuit that the securing of convictions against an officer was a challenge, in part because the criminal culpability in on-duty shootings is subjective and judges are more inclined to believe that the police testimony.
In closing arguments, defense attorneys told the jury that it is necessary for the evaluation of the circumstances of Oliver’s point of view and of what the former officer knew at the time. But the prosecutors described Oliver as out of hand and looking for a reason to kill. They argued that his fire on the car was not reasonable.
The shooting came after Oliver and his partner, Tyler Gross, broken, had a big house party, after a report of underage drinking. Both officers were in the house when they heard gunfire outside and responded. The authorities later determined the shots were fired near a home in the area.
Oliver picked up his gun and went in the direction of the Gross, who was ordering the car, wearing Edwards to stop. Oliver testified that he saw the car backing up and stopping for a second to move forward and go in the direction of the Gross.
Witnesses in his own defense, Oliver told the jury the car was about to save his partner. Oliver said that he felt that he had no choice to fire.
Gross, however, testified that he did not fear for his life, and never felt the need to fire his weapon. He also said that he does not feel that the vehicle tried to hit him.
Prosecutors said Oliver fired after the vehicle passed Gross. Researchers also said no weapons were found in the teens’ vehicle.
For the latest developments in this story: https://apnews.com/c6f1aebf73aa4cb8bebb65c2aac6c3ce