Society

Police Change Story Following Teen's Death

| by Simone Stover

Following the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy, police are changing their account of what occurred. 

On the night of April 29, officers in Balch Springs, a suburb of Dallas, were called to break up a house party based on suspicions of underage drinking, reports CNN. As a vehicle was pulling away, an officer fired a bullet toward the car using a rifle and struck a front-seat passenger in the forehead. 

The passenger was later identified as Jordan Edwards, a high school freshman. According to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office, Jordan died from a single gunshot wound to the head. The office also ruled the death a homicide. 

On April 30, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said that an "unknown altercation" had preceded the shooting, reports The Huffington Post. He said that the vehicle Jordan was in was “backing down the road toward the officers in an aggressive manner,” which was what prompted the officer to open fire. 

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Following Haber's statement, Dallas attorney Lee Merritt said that the statement did not line up with witness' accounts of what occurred. 

“What [the chief] said gives the implication that the officer was in danger behind the vehicle and shot into the car, but the bullet came through the front passenger side window,” said Merritt, according to The Huffington Post.

On May 1, Haber told reporters that he had previously "misspoke," reports CNN. 

"After further investigation, I have additional information that is contradictory to the information that was provided to me yesterday," said Haber, according to WFAA. "I unintentionally [was] incorrect yesterday when I said the vehicle was backing down the road. In fact, according to the video that I viewed the vehicle was moving forward as the officer was approached."

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"I do have questions in relation to my observation on the video and what is consistent with the policies and core values of the Balch Springs Police Department," he continued.

Following the shooting, the officer responsible for shooting Jordan was placed on administrative leave. He has yet to be identified, but it has been reported that he has been with the department for approximately six years. 

Two investigations are currently being conducted in regards to the shooting, reports CNN. The Dallas County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with the Public Integrity Unit from the Dallas County District Attorney's office, is conducting a criminal investigation. In addition, Haber said that the Balch Springs Police Department is conducting an administrative review.

According to WFAA, Haber was also asked why the officer was using a rifle in the shooting. Haber declined to comment, stating that the use of the rifle is a part of the ongoing investigation.

Merritt has told CNN that, at this time, Jordan's family wishes to grieve privately until after the funeral. A prayer vigil was held at Jordan's school on the night of May 1, but a funeral has yet to be scheduled.

Sources: CNN, The Huffington Post (2), WFAA / Photo credit: Rusty Clark/Flickr

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