I am so angry right now that I have to admit I’m struggling to put one sentence in front of the other. Police fatally shot a Texas boy, then quickly changed their story about what happened. I think we will know the name Jordan Edwards for the rest of our lives.
At 3:11 a.m. on this past Sunday morning, I received a terrible, gut-wrenching emergency email. I must admit that I get so many that it’s hard to keep up, but by sheer happenstance, I actually saw this one.
The email was titled “Shooting of an unarmed Black teen” and it read as follows:
Car carrying Jordan Edwards wasn’t threatening, police chief says
My best friend’s son was murdered by the Balch Springs Police Department last night — just outside of the city of Dallas. He was 15 years old. His name is Jordan. The police never came to the hospital and have been of zero assistance. This family needs answers. He was leaving a party with his brothers. The police are still holding his brothers in jail.
We need some help. Please.
Just a few hours earlier, a police officer in the town of Balch Springs — which is about 15 miles east of Dallas — got a rifle and blew a boy’s head off with it. I won’t mince words — that’s exactly what happened. That boy, Jordan Edwards, was a brilliant, beautiful, beloved young brother — full of promise, gentle and kind, hopeful, handsome, athletic, and as smart they come — a 3.5 GPA student who had no enemies on this earth. He was sweet but strong, light-hearted but determined, focused, but also a dreamer.
Like kids do as spring creeps into summer, and precisely as I did when I was his age, Jordan attended a house party this past Saturday night alongside nearly a hundred different kids from the community. His brother drove the family car there with Jordan and two of their buddies. They had permission to be there and permission to use the car. They were being responsible.
Family of 15-year-old boy fatally shot by Texas cop seek justice
At least one neighbor called police because of the noise and volume of kids who showed up for the party. As police arrived, Jordan, his brother and their friends got in their car and left.
They had not been drinking. They had not been smoking. They did not have knives or guns. They had not been fighting.
They simply got in their car and left.
Here is what police said Sunday about the shooting: “There was an unknown altercation with the vehicle backing down the road towards the officers in an aggressive manner. An officer shot at the vehicle, striking a front seat passenger. The individual was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”
KING: Chilling details emerge after Texas police shoot black man
The statement paints a particular picture of what happened.
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber speaks on the shooting at a press conference. (VERNON BRYANT/AP)
But by Monday, the cops’ story changed.
In a nervous press conference, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber retracted his first statement — strangely saying that he “unintentionally and incorrectly” claimed that the car backed “down the roads towards the officers in an aggressive manner” and that the car was actually driving away from the party when an officer they refuse to name got a rifle and fired multiple shots into the car, striking Jordan Edwards in the face, killing him right there in front of his brother and friends.
Chief Haber now admits that after viewing the body camera video that he does not believe the shooting “met our core values.”
The shooting also doesn’t follow the department’s policy.
Then fire the officer who killed Jordan. County investigators — who are looking into the shooting — should arrest the officer right now. Nothing short of this is acceptable. Truthfully, even that is not enough, but it’s a start, and it needs to happen quickly.