A small town police department in Texas is in the withering gaze of the public eye after one of their officers responding to a call about loud teenagers wandering around a neighborhood shot and killed an unarmed 15-year-old honor student who was a passenger in a car driven by his brother as it was being driven away from officers.
Balch Springs’ police chief admitted Monday that the car in which a teenager was fatally shot was actually driving away from police when an officer armed with a rifle fired into it.
After reviewing body cam footage, Police Chief Jonathan Haber said the teen behind the wheel was not driving aggressively, as the department had originally said.
“It did not meet our core values,” Haber said of his officer’s actions.
Jordan Edwards, a freshman at Mesquite High School, was leaving a party over the weekend when he was shot through the passenger’s side window of a vehicle, attorney Lee Merritt said.
The medical examiner’s office said Jordan was killed with a rifle and ruled his death a homicide, which doesn’t necessarily indicate charges will be filed. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s public integrity unit are investigating the shooting.
Merritt said Jordan and four other teens heard gunshots and decided to get in a car and leave the party. He said the teens heard someone cursing at them, followed by three shots that were fired into the car.
There doesn’t appear to be anything done remotely wrong by the teens in the vehicle. They were not using alcohol or drugs, and were attempting to leave the area after hearing shots fired, as I hope all our children would have the common sense to do if they found themselves in a similar scenario. The driver was not driving aggressively, nor was it being driven towards police or anyone else. They boys in the car appear to have heard cursing, gun shots, and then attempted to drive off, but only after the Balch Springs officer had fired three shots into the vehicle.
The shots he fired were hit the passenger anyway, and not the driver. The officer does not appear to have been justified in firing, and when he fired, he hit the wrong person, killing him.
Prosecutors would quickly charge any one of us who shot into a moving vehicle without justification, especially if we hit and killed someone who was essentially an innocent bystander.
I’d expect this officer to face a felony homicide charge.