As family and community members mourn the death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards who was shot in the head by a Balch Spring, TX police officer, the police chief has now said new evidence shows the shooting did not unfold the way police originally claimed.
The Balch Spring Police Department said the officer fired into the vehicle Edwards, a freshman at Mequite High School, was in because the car was “reversing down the street in an aggressive manner”.
But Jonathan Haber, the police chief, told reporters at a news conference on Monday afternoon that video showed the opposite. He said the officer, who has not been identified, fired when the car was “moving forward as the officers approached,” according to The Associated Press. The Dallas County medical examiner’s report ruled the death a homicide caused by a “rifle wound” to the head.
S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Edwards family, commended the police chief for his willingness to admit the department’s mistake and called the new account “a big deal.”
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“There were no weapons involved; there was no aggressive behavior; these were not suspects,” Mr. Merritt said in a telephone interview with the New York Times. “The lone motive they had for the murder was that the vehicle was being used as a weapon, and now that is no longer there.”
S. Lee Merritt called the change in the department’s account “a hopeful sign” about the transparency of the investigation, but he said the authorities needed to do more.
“They have a dead child, they have the identity of the shooter, and they have no explanation for the shooting,” Merritt said. “They have more than sufficient probable cause to make an arrest.”