A jury in Dallas County bucked the claims of leftist groups like Black Lives Matter yesterday, finding a former police officer guilty of a horrific murder of a young man in Texas. It took the jury 12 hours of deliberation to decide the fate of the officer in the case.
Ex-Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver was found guilty of murder in the case of 15-year-old youth, Jordan Edwards, who he shot as he left a house party. Now, the only question is what kind of sentence the convicted former police officer will face after killing one young man and terrifying another who repeatedly cried “please don’t hurt me, my brother’s dead.” While the jury decision was entirely just, it’s interesting how some of the leftists following the case seem to think that it means all other police shootings are somehow unlawful.
The family of the victim celebrated the ruling, which was reached after the jury deliberated on the evidence at hand for 12 hours, over a two-day period of time.
His father, Odell Edwards, said that his family was both relieved and happy, and that it had been a long, hard year for the family.
One woman in the hallway outside said “God is good” as she hugged others outside the courtroom. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a republican, also weighed in on the verdict.
In a tweet, he said that Edwards’ life should have never been taken.
On April 29, 2017, officer Roy Oliver of Balch Springs fired into a car of young black teenagers as it drove away from a house party.
One of those rounds struck and killed Jordan Edwards.
Oliver’s defense for his actions was that he feared for the life of his partner, who was with him when they approached a house concerning reports of underage drinking.
He claimed that the car, which contained Edwards, backed up towards the officers in an ‘aggressive’ manner, which prompted him to fire on it. Furthermore, he excused his actions, saying he fired because he thought that his partner was going to be run over by the car.
The body cam footage, however, told a different tale, and showed that when the officers approached, the vehicle was moving forward, away from them.
An expert in the use-of-force continuum, which governs appropriate police response to a threat, also testified that Oliver’s choice to shoot Edwards was not appropriate.
Daryl Washington, an attorney for the Edwards family, pointed out that body cameras were extremely important in this case, and that in the beginning, the police chief for the city took the word of the officer over the claims of witnesses to the shooting.
Attorney Jasmine Crockett said that there were a number of “courageous” people who helped prosecutors to get a guilty verdict. Among them were teenage witnesses who testified against Officer Oliver, as well as the District Attorney who brought the charges forward in the first place.
Sharon Watkins Jones, who works with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said that the prosecution, and the guilty verdict in the case, sent a strong message.
When asked how they felt going into the sentencing phase of the trial, Crockett said that she doesn’t expect a sentence that is on the “high end” of what can be given to someone convicted of murder in the state.
Under Texas law, the crime that Oliver was convicted of can carry a sentence up to life in prison.
Daryl Washington, the attorney for the family, said that he wants to take things day-by-day for now, and to celebrate the verdict.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said that she hoped the indictment of Roy Oliver would send a message to officers that if they did something wrong, “we will prosecute you.”
While groups like BLM may claim that police officers are never convicted, or that the court system is rigged against convicting officers, the reality is that it is evidence that wins out in the end.
All evidence, including the testimony of the man he allegedly tried to keep safe, undermined the claim by Oliver that the shooting was reasonable.
Now, all that’s left is to find out how long he will spend in prison.