A Dallas Jury Found Former Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver Guilty Of Murdering 15-Year-Old Jordan Edwards While Breaking Up A Party In 2017.
Update at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29: Oliver has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Dallas Morning News has more. Original story follows.
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After months of delays, a week-long trial and two days of deliberation, a Dallas jury this afternoon found former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver guilty of the murder of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.
The Edwards case has been at the forefront of the police brutality debate in America since April 2017, when Oliver, while responding to a 911 call about a party in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, fired upon a car leaving the scene, with one of his gunshots striking and killing Edwards.
In the wake of Edwards death, the Balch Springs Police Department altered its story numerous times before eventually firing Oliver, who would later be indicted on murder charges. Following Oliver’s departure from BSPD, a number of incidents highlighting his less-than-stellar behavior while on the force — both on the night of Edwards death and not — came to light.
During the trial, Oliver’s attorneys argued that, had Edwards and his friends not made Oliver, 38, fearful for his partner’s safety, Edwards would still be alive today.
Today’s guilty verdict is a monumental one for a county that has not indicted a police office on murder charges in nearly 50 years.
Former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver has just been found guilty in the murder of #JordanEdwards, breaking a 45-year paradigm in Dallas County, which hasn’t seen a conviction of a police officer since the 1973 murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez.
— Candice Bernd (@CandiceBernd) August 28, 2018
Of course, as the ongoing Santos Rodriguez story shows, a guilty verdict is not the same as righting a wrong.
Still, with a number of area police indicted on charges relating to brutality of late, today’s verdict is being received as a step in the right direction toward justice.