Will Roy Oliver Face Jail Time?

by Annamarya Scaccia

Jordan Edwards and his two brothers were driving away from a party on Saturday night when a police officer with the Balch Springs Police Department reportedly opened fire. The bullet from the officer's rifle struck Edwards in the head, killing the unarmed 15-year-old teen from Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas. Three days later, the officer responsible for his death, Roy Oliver, had been fired from the force, according to The Dallas Morning News. But will Roy Oliver face jail time? It's uncertain at this time.

Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber announced Oliver's termination at a press conference Tuesday evening, according to The Dallas Morning News. Haber made the decision to fire the six-year veteran after his department's internal investigation concluded that Oliver violated multiple policies, though he refused to go into detail, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Chief Haber said Tuesday evening, according to The Dallas Morning News:

From our policies, which I went by, there were violations. I acted on them ... You have my assurances my department will continue to be responsive, transparent and accountable.

There is no word on whether Oliver, a white police officer, will be arrested for the shooting death of Jordan Edwards. The Dallas Sheriff's Department and the Dallas County district attorney's public integrity unit have launched two separate criminal investigations into Oliver, according to The New York Times. (Romper reached out to Chief Haber and Oliver's attorney, Cindy Stormer, for comment but has not heard back.)

According to The Root, the Edwards family released a statement in response to Oliver's termination. They wrote that they are "grateful" Chief Haber had made the decision to fire "the officer responsible for Jordan's murder," but that "there remains a long road ahead." "We anxiously await this officer’s identification and arrest for the crime of murder," the family said in the statement.

They continued,

The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated. We fully expect an equivalent response from those responsible for investigating and punishing the crime. We also know that although his actions were the most wicked and consequential, he was not the only officer responsible for dreadful behavior that evening.
After Jordan’s two brothers, Vidal and Kevon, along with their two friends, were forced to experience this tragedy up close as occupants of the car, they were immediately treated as common criminals by other officers; manhandled, intimidated and arrested, while their brother lay dying in the front seat.
The officers who extended this nightmare for those children ought to be properly reprimanded as well. Our family is working hard to deal with both the loss of our beloved Jordan and the lingering trauma it has caused our boys.

Edwards family, friends, and coach remembered the 15-year-old teen as a loving child, according to The Washington Post. He was well-liked by his friends and teachers, they said. He was a model student and a rising football star. But the Edwards family will no longer have the chance to witness the man Jordan would have become because of what many have called yet another instance of police abuse of deadly force. Rarely, though, do officers who shoot and kill unarmed black people see any jail time. Will the Edwards family see justice for Jordan, then? It's unclear, and will be up to Dallas prosecutors.