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White ex-Texas cop gets 15 years in the black teenager’s death

Roy Oliver was convicted for the murder on the Tuesday fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager when he fired into a car full of teenagers leaving a house party in a suburb of Dallas.

(AP)

A white former police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday night after being convicted of murder a day earlier for the killing of an unarmed 15-year-old boy when he fired into a car full of black teenagers leaving a house party in a suburb of Dallas.

Roy Oliver, who faced up to life in prison, was sentenced Tuesday in 2017, the death of the Jordan, Edwards, and the same jury handed down his sentence. He also got a fine of $10,000.

The ruling was an extremely rare convicted of murder for the shootings with the investigating police officers. His lawyers are expected to appeal.

Oliver was a police officer in the community of Balch Springs, when he and his partner responded to reports of underage drinking at the party. Oliver fired into a car, carrying Edwards and his friends, later said he feared the vehicle was moving in the direction of and in compromise of his partner . Edwards, who is in the front passenger seat, was shot.

The jury deliberated for hours before settling on a sentence of imprisonment. Earlier, they learned of Oliver’s mother, Linda, who said that he was a good man and a dedicated father and asked jurors for a period of five year sentence, saying her young grandson needs his father’s support.

“He needs his father’s love. He needs his father’s income. He needs his father’s guidance,” she said.

Oliver’s wife also testified, saying in Spanish through an interpreter that she was worried about their 3-year-old son, who is autistic. But the ex-officer’s half-sister testified against him, saying they felt compelled to do this after listening to testimony during the trial and that she hoped he gets what he deserves.”

Odell Edwards, and Charmaine Edwards, the parents of Jordan Edwards, react to a guilty of murder verdict during a trial of fired Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver.

(AP)

That came a day after Edwards’ father, Odell Edwards, told jurors that his son always had a smile on his face and dreamed of playing football in Alabama.

Edwards’ stepmother, Charmaine Edwards, said Jordan’s death left a void in the family and will not be whole again.

“And I am eternally grateful that y’all (saw) in your hearts, to see that it was wrong. And I’m thankful,” she told jurors after they delivered the murder conviction.

Earlier Wednesday, Dallas County district attorney, Faith Johnson, said Oliver was a “killer in the blue” and told jurors they could send a message that bad officers will not be tolerated.

The police initially said the vehicle backed up toward officers “in an aggressive way,” but later admitted that the bodycam video showed the vehicle was moving forward as officers approached. Oliver’s partner told jurors he did not believe his life was ever in danger.

Investigators said no weapons were found in the vehicle. Oliver was firedfrom the Balch Springs Police days after the shooting.

The jury, which was furnished with two black members of the 12 jury members and two alternates, acquitted Oliver on two lesser charges of aggravated assault resulting from the shooting.

It is extremely rare for police officers to be tried and convicted for murder for the shootings that took place while on duty. Only six non-federal police convicted of murder in such cases — and four of those convictions were set aside — since 2005, according to data compiled by the criminologist and Bowling Green State University professor Phil Stinson.

Edwards’ father has also filed a civil lawsuit in connection with the shooting. The decision of the jury is not only about Jordan Edwards, but also all the other black men and women who have been killed and not received justice, said Daryl Washington, an attorney for the teenager’s father.

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