Texas teen Jordan Edwards was shot and killed by police this weekend, and cops are now changing their story

Police initially said Edwards was backing up "in an aggressive matter," but had to retract that claim

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 2, 2017 1:12PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
(Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

The media may have started losing interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, but new information about the death of Texas teenager Jordan Edwards illustrates that the underlying problem of police violence against African-Americans remains as pervasive as ever.

After Edwards, 15, was shot in the head through the front passenger window of a car leaving a house party in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs on Saturday, police claimed that the killing was necessary because the vehicle had been backing toward the officers "in an aggressive manner," according to a report by NPR. On Monday afternoon, however, Chief Jonathan Haber had to retract that account and call into question whether the officer who killed Edwards had justification for doing so.

"In fact, the car with five teenagers inside was moving forward, not backward, and away from the officers, not toward them. There was no altercation, known or otherwise," writes NPR's Wade Goodwyn. "Nevertheless one of officers fired a rifle multiple times into the passenger window, killing young Jordan Edwards. None of the teens were carrying weapons, nor were they drunk."

Goodwyn added, "Chief Haber said his review of the officer's body camera video indicated the shooting may not meet his department's standards."

Although the officer has been put on administrative leave, Edwards' family attorney Lee Merritt insists this will not be enough.

As Merritt said at a press conference, "We are declaring war on bad policing. This has happened far too often. America must find a way to police its citizens without killing them."


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Black Lives Matter Dallas Police Department Jordan Edwards Racial Profiling Racism