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Police officer charged with murder of Dallas teenager

[JURIST] The Dallas County Sheriff's Department [official website] issued an arrest warrant [press release, Twitter] Friday for former Police Officer Roy Oliver over the murder of Jordan Edwards, a young black man. Oliver turned himself in that night. Roy Oliver was a Police Officer with the Balch Springs Police Department [official website] in Texas when he fatally shot the high school freshman on April 29. Edwards was the front passenger in a vehicle leaving a house party after police arrived shortly before midnight. Oliver was terminated [press release, Facebook] on May 2 after the completion of an Internal Affairs investigation. In a press release, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office stated that the warrant was issued after evidence suggested that Oliver fired into the vehicle intending to cause serious injury and to commit an act "clearly dangerous to human life." In an updated press release by the Balch Springs Police Department, the vehicle is described as driving away from police at the time of the shooting. An earlier description [NYT report] stated that the vehicle was reversing toward the officers. Dallas police have said that the investigation into the death of Jordan Edwards will not stop at this arrest.

Jordan Edwards is the latest, high-profile fatality of a Black teenager shot by police in the US. In 2013 the UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent and the UN Special Rapporteur on racism called upon [JURIST report] the US government to finalize its investigation into the case surrounding the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. In 2014 a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict [JURIST report] police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in August of that year. In 2015 Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged [JURIST report] with first-degree murder for the death of black teenager Laquan McDonald in October 2014. That same year an Ohio grand jury decided not to indict [JURIST report] two officers involved in a 2014 shooting resulting in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

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