In Texas, Officials Probe Shooting Of Unarmed Black Teenager

May 2, 2017
Originally published on May 2, 2017 8:19 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's what's known about a shooting in North Texas. Fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards was riding in a car. The black teen was shot in the head through the front passenger window, and a police officer fired the shot. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports on the investigation.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Saturday night around 11, Balch Springs Police got a complaint about noisy teenagers partying outside a neighborhood home. Balch Springs is a small suburb east of Dallas. As officers arrived, they heard shots fired. As to what happened next at a press conference the next day, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said this.

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JONATHAN HABER: There was an altercation with the vehicle backing down the road towards officers in an aggressive manner, and officers shot at the vehicle striking a front seat passenger.

GOODWYN: But yesterday afternoon, Chief Haber called another press conference to say that his original report was wrong. 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. Nevertheless, one of the 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. Chief Haber said his review of the officer's body camera video indicated the shooting may not meet his department's standards.

Lawyers for Edwards' family said that witnesses reported the officer who fired was a white male. That officer has been placed on leave. The Dallas County Sheriff's Department and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting. Neither is connected to the Balch Springs Police Department. Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.