A white Texas police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager for which the officer was fired, according to an arrest warrant issued Friday.
The warrant for Roy Oliver, a former officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, was issued by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office for the April 29 shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. In a statement it released announcing the warrant, the sheriff’s office cited evidence that suggested Oliver “intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death,” reports The Washington Post.
Oliver fired a rifle at a car of teenagers leaving a party, striking and killing Edwards. The shooting led to protests calling for Oliver to be charged. About 200 people attended a vigil Thursday night in Balch Springs.
The warrant states that any peace officer may arrest Oliver, and that Oliver could also turn himself in to authorities. Meanwhile, sheriff’s spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said, the investigation into the shooting continues.
Oliver’s attorney, Cindy Stormer, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. The attorney for the teen’s family, Lee Merritt, said he would issue a statement later Friday.
It took a few moments for Edwards’ 16-year-old brother, who was driving, and other passengers to notice that he was slumped over in his seat.
Records show that Oliver was briefly suspended in 2013 following a complaint about his conduct while serving as a witness in a drunken-driving case.
Personnel records from the Balch Springs Police Department obtained by The Associated Press show Oliver was suspended for 16 hours in December 2013 after the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office filed the complaint. Oliver also was ordered to take training courses in anger management and courtroom demeanor and testimony.
The personnel records also included periodic evaluations that noted at least one instance when Oliver was reprimanded for being “disrespectful to a civilian on a call.” That evaluation, dated Jan. 27, 2017, called the reprimand an isolated incident and urged Oliver to be mindful of his leadership role in the department.
The complaint from the prosecutor’s office said the office had a hard time getting Oliver to attend the trial, he was angry he had to be there, he used vulgar language that caused an assistant district attorney to send a female intern out of the room, and he used profanity during his testimony.
“In an email from one of the prosecutors he states you were a ‘scary person to have in our workroom,’” then-Balch Springs Police Chief Ed Morris wrote in the suspension findings.