The Texas police officer who fatally shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards has been charged with murder, nearly a week after the incident occurred.
On Friday, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department issued a warrant for the arrest of 37-year-old Roy Oliver, who later turned himself in, the Dallas Morning News reports. Oliver posted his $300,000 bail and was released before 10 p.m. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Oliver’s arrest came after he shot Edwards on Saturday night as the teenager was leaving a party in the suburbs of Dallas. Police were responding to neighbors’ reports of “drunken young people,” and Edwards was in a car that officers originally claimed was driving aggressively toward them.
Oliver opened fire on the vehicle, shooting Edwards, who was in the front passenger seat, in the head. He died soon after in the hospital. Police later admitted that body cam footage revealed that the car was in fact pulling away from the officers when the shots were fired.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Edwards family, told the Morning News that it was critical that Oliver be arrested on the most serious charge possible.
“I think it begins to at least give the appearance that the state is not going to sweep this clear wrong under the rug as it’s done in the past,” Merritt said. “However we also have to learn from history that we don’t have a conviction yet. And so we still have some ways to go.”
A freshman in high school, Edwards was a straight A student and standout athlete. His family released a statement ahead of his burial on Saturday:
“Although we realize that there remain significant obstacles ahead on the road to justice, this action brings hope that the justice system will bend against the overwhelming weight of our frustration,” they wrote. Additionally, they asked that people not protest at Edwards’ funeral.
“Though we understand what his life and death mean symbolically, we are not ready to make a martyr of our son,” they said.
New details from the night reveal that Oliver got his rifle from the patrol car after another officer thought he heard shots fired from nearby the house. According the Morning News:
The second officer tried to stop a black Chevrolet Impala at the intersection. The car slowly reversed, and the second officer pulled his gun and walked toward the passenger side of the car.
As the car started to drive forward, the officer used his gun to break the rear passenger window.
That’s when Oliver got behind the officer and fired several rounds into the car as it drove past him.
Oliver was fired on Tuesday for “violating departmental policies.”