The parents of a black teenage boy killed in a police-involved shooting in Texas want the officer to be held accountable.
Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver is accused of shooting and killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in April as the teenager left a party. Oliver is charged with murder.
The Justice Department has also launched an investigation. The Edwards family spoke to CBS News’ Omar Villafranca in their first TV interview.
Charmaine and Odell Edwards say Jordan was an honor student who loved football and had a bright future.
It has been nearly three weeks since her son was killed and Charmaine still has not gone to church, because she’d have to drive past the scene of his fatal shooting.
© CBS News 170501-cbs-en-jordan-edwards.jpg “I go in his room and I’m waiting on him to walk through the door like to have my last – for him to say ‘bye, I’m gone.’ It’s like – it’s never gonna happen,” Charmaine said. For Charmaine and Odell Edwards, the death of their 15-year-old-son Jordan does not seem real. “All I have is pictures now.
Throughout the house and on my phone,” Odell said. “Every day, I look at the pictures and I just wish I could see him.”
On April 29, Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver shot and killed the teenager outside a house party. Jordan, his two brothers and two friends were driving away in a car. Oliver allegedly fired multiple shots into the sedan, after unsuccessfully trying to get them to stop. A bullet struck Jordan in the head as he sat in the front passenger seat next to his 16-year-old step brother, Vidal.
Vidal has replayed that moment in his head. “Every night. Can’t even sleep,” Vidal said.
“What do you do to kind of just breathe?” Villafranca asked.
“I pray,” said Vidal.
“Did you have the same thoughts as Vidal?” asked Villafranca.What does he pray for? “Peace in my heart and get rid of my anger.” Their oldest brother, Kevon, was in the backseat when he saw Jordan slumped over.
“I was angry, I didn’t expect for it to be him,” Kevon said. Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said body camera footage of the incident revealed police behavior that didn’t measure up to the department’s core values. Oliver was fired on May 2. Three days later, after an investigation by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, he was charged with murder.
“If the car was leaving the scene and he wasn’t posing a threat to anyone, why shoot? But you literally shooting like you playing target practice. In my mind – it’s like he was hunting. You use rifles to kill animals — that’s what you do, and that’s what he did,” Charmaine said.
Following Jordan’s shooting, the boys pulled over for help and were confronted by officers who detained them. Before being handcuffed, Vidal says an officer called him the n-word. He worried he’d be shot like Jordan. “I thought that was running through my head – like I didn’t, I’m not gonna be able to say goodbye to my parents or my brother that I have,” Vidal said.
“Yes,” Kevon said. In a statement, the Balch Springs police department told CBS News they’ve “reviewed many hours from officer’s body cameras and in-car cameras and have not heard any of the officers use the n-word to describe the boys.
“The Edwards family says they want meaningful change – which for them means seeing Oliver locked up. “What would you tell Roy Oliver about Jordan?” Villafranca asked.
“You killed an innocent kid that loved life, that would’ve made you even smile if you knew him,” Odell said.
The family says they don’t believe all cops are bad. But they want all cops who break the law to be held accountable.
As for Oliver, he posted his bail and was released, but he has not spoken publicly.