Success: Police Officer Convicted of Murder, Sentenced to Prison, for Shooting Unarmed Black Teen

Target: Hon. Brandon Birmingham, Presiding Judge, 292nd District Court, Dallas County, Texas

Goal: Support the sentencing of former police officer Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison for shooting and killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.

In a major victory for equality and human rights, the former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black 15-year-old will be punished for his actions. Former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and been ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, after much deliberation, public outcry, and civil rights petitions including this one at ForceChange. He was found guilty of murdering Jordan Edwards, who was in the passenger seat of a car leaving a house party with four other teenagers when Oliver shot into the moving vehicle, striking Edwards in the head.

Oliver testified that he shot in order to protect his partner’s life. His partner, however, stated that he never felt that his life was in danger and that he saw no reason to shoot. Additionally, Oliver defended himself immediately following the shooting by saying that the car was reversing toward him and his partner, which he perceived as a threat; however, bodycam evidence and the statements of the other people present at the scene confirm that the car was in fact driving forward, not backing up, and no threat was present. Oliver was subsequently dismissed from the force.

This verdict is an important victory. As Daryl Washington, the Edwards family’s lawyer, puts it, “Hopefully … Dallas is going to be an example for the rest of the country.” Incidents like this remain without justice all too often, causing many, especially minorities, to fear for their lives in the face of the people who are supposed to be sworn to protect them. Until now, an officer in Texas has not been convicted for killing in the line of duty since 1973. “Little kids … adults, should be able to look at police officers as individuals who have taken the oath to protect and serve,” says Washington. “We should not have to have conversations with our kids on how to behave or how to deal with police officers.”

Oliver’s defense team raised concerns about the example this case sets, calling it a “chilling message” to police. But as Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson states, “We support the police. However, we do not support the bad apples. And we want to say to bad apples like Roy Oliver, ‘If you go out and you murder anybody, we’re committed to making certain that we prosecute people like that.’” Sign below to support this landmark victory for human rights, one that gave Jordan Edwards and his family some form of justice.


Dear Judge Birmingham,

The conviction of former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver of the murder of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, and his sentence of 15 years in prison along with a $10,000 fine, is a major victory for human rights. Jordan Edwards was an unarmed and innocent teenager, and he and his family deserve to see this justice served. As their lawyer Daryl Washington said, although they were fighting for a longer sentence since nothing can bring their child back to them, they know that many families are never able to see their child’s killer face consequences—especially when the killer was an on-duty police officer.

This decision has the potential, as Washington puts it, to be “an example for the rest of the country.” Police shootings, especially of unarmed black boys and men, have been a huge problem across America, and it is all too rare for the killers to be held accountable. All citizens have a right not only to their lives, but to feel protected by the police, who are sworn to protect and serve their communities. Police officers must face consequences when they stray so tragically far from this oath. Thank you for ensuring justice in the case of Jordan Edwards and for leading the way for the rest of the country to follow suit.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

One Comment

  1. gen agustsson says:

    stop african holocaust right now!

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