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Family of black teen killed by police demand prosecution

09 May 2017

After a quick investigation, the Balch Springs, Texas police chief has fired the officer who triggered the deadly rifle shot, ultimately murdering the black teenager, NPR reports.

Edwards, whose death was ruled a homicide, was riding in a vehicle with other teenagers, including his older brother. "I acted on them", Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said during a press conference on Tuesday evening.

Attorneys for the family, Lee Merritt and Jasmine Crockett, praised the police department for its quick action to fire the officer. His dismissal was announced by officials on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. At the same time, the family of the victim, Jordan Edwards, is calling for criminal charges against in a case that has added to what seems like a grim fraternity of Black males killed at the hands of police.

"I take responsibility for that", Haber said, according to CNN. "In a rush to get the information out, to be transparent", he said.

"We are here to serve this community and we're going to continue to do our jobs and we're going to continue to do it to the best of our ability", Haber said. Oliver, who was an officer in Balch Springs since 2011, has the right to appeal his termination, the department said in a news release.

"Our family is working hard to deal with both the loss of our beloved Jordan and the lingering trauma it has caused our boys", the family statement said.

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Cindy Stormer, an attorney representing Oliver asked the public to be patient as the incident is "recent and still being investigated".

"Everyone should wait until the facts come out and we know more", she said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The police department's latest statement asserts that officers entering the house heard gunshots ring out during a "chaotic scene with numerous people running away from the location". A copy of the 2016 version, obtained by the Post, specifically instructs officers to move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle when possible, rather than opening fire.

"The magnitude of his frightful actions can not be overstated", said a statement released from the family of Jordan Edwards. "The vehicle continued the main roadway driving away from the officer as an officer shot into the vehicle striking the passenger".

Edwards was described as a good student and popular athlete by family and friends. They couldn't tell if he was already dead. The attorney said Jordan's older brother, 16, was detained by police overnight but not given a reason or charged, and was not informed police had killed his brother until being released. "Before the chief made the retraction of the statement, he stopped by and he spoke with the family", Merritt said.

Family of black teen killed by police demand prosecution