Officer Roy Oliver was arrested on murder charges Saturday for the shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, a suburb of Dallas, on April 29. He was released on bail that same day. Edwards’s father has now filed a suit against Oliver for excessive force.
The Washington Post reports that Odell Edwards filed the suit Friday in US District Court in Dallas, accusing Roy Oliver of using “excessive and deadly force” when he fired a rifle into the car Jordan Edwards was riding in. The New York Times reports that Balch Springs is also named as a defendant in the case. The city is accused of failing to properly train Oliver, who had “a reputation for having a short fuse.”
Both Mayor Carrie Marshall and Police Chief Jonathan Haber are mentioned for failing to “properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel or otherwise control officers who are known, or who should have been known, to engage in the use of excessive force and/or deadly force, including those officers repeatedly accused of such acts.”
The suit also addresses the behavior of Oliver’s fellow officers, stating, “Defendant Oliver shot Edwards in the head in plain view of his brothers with total disregard to the safety of others,” and accusing those officers of making racist comments throughout the violent altercation.
Jordan Edwards brother, who was seated beside him at the time of the shooting, was also allegedly held in handcuffs at the scene though he was not accused of a crime. NBC News reported a week ago that Jordan’s brother was actually held in a jail cell overnight, though none of the other teens in the car were held for questioning. Odell Edwards was subsequently subjected to further mistreatment:
But it wasn’t just Edward’s [sic] brother, Balch Springs Police officers also wanted to hold Edwards’s father when he arrived at the station asking about his sons, Merritt said. “Balch Springs PD called the Dallas County Sheriff’s office and asked if they could restrain Jordan’s father because of his “hostile” behavior,” he said.
Law enforcement subsequently held Edwards’ [sic] father at a Dallas County Building, he said.
CNN reports that Edwards’s attorneys are also arguing that Balch Springs should have terminated Oliver long ago, and it was a failure of the department that he remained a police officer “despite his conduct and multiple violations of departmental policies.” Those violations include at least one instance of pulling a gun on a woman during a traffic incident and failing to identify himself as a police officer.