Texas Police Change Their Story After Fatally Shooting 15 Year-Old Boy
Police in Balch Springs, Texas — which is a suburb of Dallas — are now changing their story after one of their officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy last Saturday (April 29).
According to CNN, police were called to break up a house party, and at least one car drove away when they arrived. Initially, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said the vehicle was moving "aggressively" toward the officer, so opened fire with a rifle in self-defense.
However, a body camera later determined that the car was driving away, not toward the officer, as previously stated. Jordan Edwards, who was sitting in the front-seat passenger seat, was struck in the head and killed.
"[I] misspoke. I take responsibility for that," said Haber. "[The officer's actions] did not meet our core values."
There were also witnesses who saw the officer fire his rifle, including Edwards' 16-year-old brother and three of their friends. According to the eyewitnesses, the officer shot his rifle three times into the vehicle as it was driving away from the party.
At one point, Edwards' brother and the three young men were taken away from the dying teen after he was shot, and taken down to the station for questioning. They were not arrested and eventually let go.
The officer who fired the shots has yet to be named or arrested and has been placed on administrative leave. He's been with the Balch Springs Police force for six years.
"The Balch Springs Police Department, regardless of how this whole thing turns out, we are here to serve this community," Haber promised.
Right now, the shooting is being investigated by The Dallas County Sheriff's Department with assistance from the Public Integrity Unit from the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. Meanwhile, Edwards' family lawyer Lee Merritt said something has to be done about horrible police tactics.
"We are declaring war on bad policing," he said. "America, throughout the country, must figure out a way to police its citizens without killing them."
Those who knew 15 year-old Edwards said he was adored in the community and a very popular student, with a 3.5 GPA. Mesquite High School, where he attended, has set up grief counselors to help his classmates.
"The entire district — especially the staff and students of Mesquite High School — are mourning this terrible loss," said a rep from the school.
You can watch a press conference on the shooting above and statements from Edwards' family lawyer below.