Friday, 20 October 2017

Jordan Edwards Shooting: The Women Who May Decide Fate of Officer in Case –

A white cop this week fired his rifle into a car and killed an innocent black teenager who was just trying to leave a party.

The story seems like a tragically familiar anecdote on race and policing. But as the investigation into the shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards continues, the city Balch Springs, Texas, may bring an unexpected twist.

The tiny town with a predominantly white police force will face scrutiny by the county’s first African-American female prosecutor and the country’s only Latina sheriff — who also happens to be openly gay.

“Eight out of 10 Balch Springs police officers are white — though three out of four city residents are not,” according to data compiled by Texas Reporting and the Dallas Morning News.

It’s a racial disparity emblematic of Dallas county, according to the report.

But the county’s sheriff’s department, prosecutors office, and public defenders offices are all led by minority women, which could add a perspective in this case that many have criticized was absent in so many other police-involved shootings of minorities.

Officer Roy Oliver has already been fired after an internal investigation by the Balch Springs Police Department in connection with the death of Edwards on Tuesday.

And Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber on Monday said that Oliver’s actions did “not follow core values.”

But Oliver’s future still hinges on criminal liability as these women deconstruct the night the ninth-grader was killed.

Image: Officer Roy Oliver

Officer Roy Oliver, who was fired for shooting Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, Texas.