Jordan Edwards (267183)

A former police officer in Texas, who is white, is facing a lengthy prison sentence after he was found guilty of murder in the death of a 15-year-old Black teen, reports NBC News. The crime happened when then cop Roy Oliver fired into a moving car full of teenagers leaving a party, killing Jordan Edwards. The Black teen was in the passenger seat of a car when Oliver opened fire. His defense claimed he feared for his partner’s life, but his own partner testified that he did not feel he was in danger. Jordan’s father, Odell Edwards, told NBC News after the verdict was announced that he wanted to “jump up and down” when he heard the verdict and was “thankful.” He added, “I’m happy, very happy. It’s been a long time, a hard year.” The verdict came Tuesday (Aug. 28) afternoon on the second day of deliberations. Oliver, who was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department in the Dallas suburbs after the shooting, testified that he felt he had no choice but to use deadly force. He said he fired on the car after seeing it move toward his partner, Officer Tyler Gross, and thinking the officer’s life was in danger. But Gross previously testified that he did not fear for his life and didn’t feel the need to fire his weapon. Officers had been dispatched to the house party in Balch Springs on a call of underage drinking late April 29, 2017. Oliver testified that while he was at the home, he heard gunshots outside and believed there was a shooter. As he went outside, he saw the car carrying the five unarmed teenagers. Jeremy Seaton, a witness who had attended the same house party, testified earlier that it didn’t appear that the car the teens were in was trying to hit the officer. “We were just kids leaving a party,” Maximus Everette, 15, who was in the back seat with his twin brother, Maxwell, told NBC News. “We shouldn’t have to fear the police when our parents teach us to respect them,” Maximus told reporters. “So I don’t see why they would fear just kids leaving a party.” Oliver was hired in 2011. In 2013, he was suspended and required to take anger management classes after having erupted in a courtroom. He was angry because he had to attend court, according to personnel files obtained by NBC News.