On Saturday night, police in the Dallas, Texas, suburb of Balch Springs shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was in a car with four other people trying to leave a party. At first, law enforcement officials publicly claimed that the car Edwards was in was coming toward police officers in an “aggressive manner” and that there’d been allegations of gunshots in the neighborhood, which they argued prompted the officer-involved shooting. New evidence, however, suggests that this wasn’t the case.
Days after the shooting, police body camera evidence instead showed that the car Edwards was in wasn’t in fact moving toward police during the time of the shooting, but instead away from the officers.
Police initially said the car was “backing down the street toward the officers in an aggressive manner,” according to The Washington Post. But Balch Springs Police chief Jonathan Haber issued a new statement, saying, “I unintentionally [was] incorrect when I said the vehicle was backing down the road,” he said. “In fact I can tell you that I do have questions in relation to my observation [of] the video. After reviewing the video, I don’t believe that [the shooting] met our core values.” The Washington Post reported that Haber and the department have chosen not to release the identity of the police officer who shot Edwards. Haber still hasn’t commented on the alleged gunshots that directed officers to the scene in the first place.
The Post also reported that Edwards’s 16-year-old brother and three other teenage friends were in the car at the time of the shooting.
The Edwards family issued a statement soon after Haber’s news conference. “We would first like to thank everyone for their kind words, thoughts, prayers, and condolences as we mourn the tremendous loss our family and community has suffered. We know that so many of you share in our loss,” they wrote in the statement provided to Teen Vogue. “What we desire only second to having our beloved Jordan back, is justice for Jordan.”
The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, also said the shooting spoke more to the larger issue of police brutality, specifically against black men, in the nation. “We are declaring war on bad policing. This has happened far too often,” he explained as a press briefing. “We are tired of making the same rhetorical demands, of having the same hashtags; our community is fed up with the same tired excuses, once again offered by Balch Springs Police Department yesterday, that this was somehow the fault of the victims, teenage kids with no criminal records, with no motive to attempt to hurt anyone, with no evidence that they ever attempted to hurt anyone.”
Source: Teen Vogue