The family of a 15-year-old Black teen who was shot and killed by a now-former Texas police officer has filed a lawsuit against the city, department and the officer.
According to NBC 5, the family filed the suit on Friday. It claims former Balch Springs Officer Roy Oliver used excessive and deadly force while responding to the call that led to Jordan Edwards’ death. The lawsuit also claims Oliver lacked proper training in his position as an officer for the City of Balch Springs.
Oliver remains out on bond after being arrested on a murder charge on April 29.
A neighbor had called police to report a party where teens were drinking. Officers were dispatched to the scene, where they found Edwards in a vehicle with other teenagers. Oliver fired his weapon according to an arrest warrant despite Edwards reportedly being in a vehicle that was moving away from the officer.
Initially, the department’s police chief stated that the vehicle was moving toward Oliver.
An attorney representing the Edwards family told the news outlet that as the driver of the vehicle was exiting it for police, he went in the wrong direction and an officer said, “This n***a doesn’t know his f***ing left from his right.”
Edwards’ brother was also handcuffed and taken into police custody, the family claims.
In 2013, Oliver was suspected by the Balch Springs Police Department for his behavior as a witness in a DWI case, according to the lawsuit.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint against Oliver citing difficulty getting him to appear in court and his use of foul language when he did attend court hearings, personnel files from Balch Springs obtained under an open records request say. The documents say he responded to a prosecutor’s question with, “I don’t understand the f***ing question.”
Oliver was also noted as being “a scary person to have in our workroom” by a prosecutor, according to the disciplinary document prepared by then-chief Ed Morris.
“The death of Jordan Edwards is every parent’s worst nightmare. When we see Jordan, we see our own children,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “In Dallas County, no person is above the law. We pray for Jordan’s family, the family of the officer who shot him, all our first responders, and our community at large.”
The Edwards family is requesting that a jury hear their case in federal court. Story developing.