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Dallas Police Officer Fired For Shooting Jordan Edwards: An Unarmed Straight A Student

On Tuesday, the chief of the Balch Springs Police Department announced that he had fired the officer who used a rifle to shoot into a moving vehicle full of teenagers and killed Jordan Edwards, 15, as he was seated in the front passenger seat.

The officer, Roy Oliver, joined the department in July 2011. The police chief, Jonathan Haber, declined to say what policies had been violated, citing Mr. Oliver’s right to appeal the termination. Chief Haber said he made the decision based in part on the department’s internal affairs investigation, which has been completed, and the body-camera footage from the two officers at the scene, Mr. Oliver and an unnamed officer.

There were echoes of the other deadly police shootings around the country that have become all too familiar.

Tamir Rice in Cleveland was three years younger than Jordan. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., was unarmed. Jordan was, too. Walter L. Scott in North Charleston, S.C., was fleeing from an officer. Jordan was fleeing, too, although not on foot like Mr. Scott but in a car.

Laquan McDonald in Chicago was killed by an officer whose colleagues’ version of events was contradicted by dashcam video footage. In Jordan’s case, too, video footage contradicted the police.
And yet, as with all of the fatal shootings that have stirred a national conversation about race and the police in recent years, the shooting death of Jordan Edwards was its own unique tragedy.

A high school freshman with a big smile and a big family, Jordan would stay late at football practice to spend extra time lifting weights. Jordan’s 16-year-old brother was sitting just a few feet away in the driver’s seat when Jordan was shot in the head.

“Not only have Jordan’s brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless, murder,” the Edwards family said in a statement on Tuesday. “Their young lives will forever be altered.”

Outrage spread across Twitter after the shooting, but his grieving family asked people to refrain from protests and marches while they prepare for his funeral on Saturday.

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