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.
Read More: Family Granted $26 Million After Body Cam Showed Cop Execute Innocent Unarmed Child