Over the weekend, a 15-year-old black teenager was shot by police as he left a party with his brother and two friends.
Jordan Edwards was doing what teenagers often do, attending a house party with nearly 100 other teens. He was driven to the party by his older brother, borrowing the family car. When the party got rowdy, a neighbor made a noise complaint and when police arrived, Edwards, his brother, and their friends attempted to leave the party. It was then that police who arrived on the scene opened fire on the vehicle, killing Edwards.
Initially, police explained the murder by claiming that the vehicle the victim was riding in was backing up menacingly toward the officers, possibly intending to cause vehicular harm.
Their statement: “There was an unknown altercation with the vehicle backing down the road towards the officers in an aggressive manner. An officer shot at the vehicle, striking a front seat passenger. The individual was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”
As it turns out, that was a lie.
Since the initial claim made after the Saturday slaying, police have come out to clarify that the car which was carrying victim Jordan Edwards was driving forward when police opened fire on the car with a rifle, shooting him in the head and killing him instantly. With this announcement, police are admitting that there was absolutely no motive for opening fire on the car.
Police Chief Jonathan Haber made the announcement in a press conference in which he called the initial claim by police “unintentional and incorrect.”
The officer who killed Edwards has been fired, but his identity continues to be protected by the Police Department despite having committed murder. That the officer was fired is good – his arrest will be better.
Right now, an innocent teenager has lost his life and his family and community have suffered an irreplaceable loss. Jordan Edwards was a passionate student, a motivated athlete, a beloved son and brother.
Edwards didn’t break any rules, he didn’t do any of the things that “criminals” are normally accused of. Nothing he did warranted the level of force used by police, and his murder is a dark mark on police conduct in America.