Texas officer charged with murder in shooting death of 15-year-old leaving party

BALCH SPRINGS, Tex. — A police officer in a Dallas suburb was charged with murder on Friday, six days after he fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party, killing a black 15-year-old in the front passenger seat.

Mr. Oliver, who was a patrol officer with the Balch Springs Police Department, responded late last Saturday to reports of underage drinking at a house party. Mr. Oliver and another officer entered the house but left after the police said they heard gunshots outside the residence.

As a car with five black teenagers inside drove away from the house, Mr. Oliver, who is white, fired his AR-15 rifle, fatally striking Jordan Edwards, a freshman at Mesquite High School, in the head, according to the police and the law firm representing the Edwards family.

The Balch Springs police chief fired Mr. Oliver on Tuesday, saying he had violated departmental policies. In the Police Department’s first account of the fatal shooting, Chief Jonathan Haber had said that the car was reversing aggressively toward the officers when Mr. Oliver opened fire. But after Chief Haber reviewed the two officers’ body cameras, he corrected that description: The car had reversed but was accelerating forward and away from the officers when Jordan was struck. Continue reading  

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