Jordan Edwards shooting: Texas police change account of death

Jordan Edwards, 15, was remembered by friends as a good student and American football playerImage copyright
Family Handout

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Jordan Edwards, 15, was remembered as “a checklist of everything you would want in a player, a son, a teammate, a friend”

A Texas police department has changed a key detail in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, amid mounting calls for the officer to be arrested.

Jordan Edwards, 15, died after an officer fired a rifle into a car that was driving away from a house party in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs.

Police initially said the car reversed “aggressively” towards the officer, but footage discredits that claim.

Police Chief Jonathan Haber said he “misspoke”.

The officer, who has not been identified, has been with the Balch Spring Police Department for six years.

Media captionPrayer vigil for teen killed by police

He fired into a car full of teenagers as they left a party on Saturday night, Chief Haber said after reviewing the body-cam video.

The car was actually driving forward – away from police – and not reversing toward them when the shots were fired, he explained.

“I was unintentionally incorrect yesterday when I said that the victim’s vehicle was backing down the road,” Mr Haber said on Monday.

“In fact, according to the video that I viewed, the vehicle was moving forward as the officers approached.”

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Mesquite Independent School District

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Jordan was shot in the back of the head

The officer’s behaviour “did not meet our core values”, the police chief said, adding that he has been placed on administrative leave.

Jordan, who was in the front passenger seat, died after being shot in the back of the head.

His 16-year-old brother and three friends were detained at the scene and taken to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, where they were interviewed as witnesses.

Jordan’s cause of death has been ruled a homicide, however, that does not necessarily mean charges will be filed against the officer.

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Jordan’s mother, Charmaine, silently wept as her lawyers called for the officer’s arrest

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office are conducting a criminal investigation.

The incident occurred on Saturday night when police responded to reports of underage drinking at a house party where around 100 kids had gathered, neighbours said.

Officers were inside the home trying to find the owner when they heard outside what they believed to be gunshots, causing panic at the home as people fled.

After going outside, the police officer fired several shots which killed Jordan, a first-year American football player at Mesquite High School.

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His coach, Jeff Fleener, told the Dallas Morning News that he was “crushed and heartbroken” to learn that Jordan had been killed.

“You create a checklist of everything you would want in a player, a son, a teammate, a friend, and Jordan had all that. He was that kid,” he said.

A vigil was held at the school on Monday evening, and the school district said they are “mourning this terrible loss”.

Lee Merritt, lawyer for Jordan’s family, demanded the officer’s arrest on Monday.

“We are declaring war on bad policing,” he said as Jordan’s parents sat silently beside him, wiping their eyes with tissues and gazing downwards.

“America throughout the country must figure out a way to police its citizens without killing them,” he continued.

Jordan Edwards shooting: Texas police change account of death

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