TOP praises the indictment of Balch Springs Police Officer in killing of Jordan Edwards

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The following is a statement by Brianna Brown, deputy director of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), in reaction to a Dallas County grand jury indicting former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver today in the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards:

“Today’s indictment of Roy Oliver in the murder of Jordan Edwards is long overdue. It was completely inexcusable for Oliver to shoot his rifle into a moving vehicle that was traveling away from him and another officer. We need a shift in how law enforcement agencies across the country train and hold their officers accountable.

“The issuing of this indictment further serves as a reminder that racially-motivated police violence has no place in Dallas County. On a daily basis, Black and Brown residents throughout Dallas County face verbal and physical abuse, and potentially lethal violence, at the hands of officers who have not been trained to deal with their implicit biases against people of color, especially Black men.

“To secure the necessary justice in the deadly shooting of Jordan Edwards, and to help prevent such unjust use of deadly force in the future, TOP again demands that Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson aggressively prosecutes Mr. Oliver and the other officers who were with him that day, commits to using independent prosecutors to investigate cases of alleged police brutality, and requests an investigation of unequal and discriminatory policing in Balch Springs by the U.S. Department of Justice. This is long from over, and the community will be watching to make sure D.A. Johnson does her job.”

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Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Texas’ three largest counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.

RSVP NOW: Come march with us in Dallas on June 17!

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In 1973, Dallas police killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez and got away with it. Earlier this year, Dallas-area police killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. We can’t have the same result, and we can’t allow this to keep happening. There must be justice for Jordan, and police brutality must end.

Join us Saturday in Dallas to show that Texans demand police accountability and an end to police violence against people of color. If you’re in Houston or San Antonio, you can catch a ride on our buses.

Reserve your seat here!

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Houston Bus: Please arrive at 6 a.m. at the TOP office (2404 Caroline St.)
Bus will depart promptly at 6:30 a.m.
TOP contact person: Anita Scott, (318) 575-9924, ascott@organizetexas.org

San Antonio Bus: Please arrive at 5:45 a.m. at the TOP office (700 S. Zarzamora St., Suite 212)
Bus will depart promptly at 6 a.m.
TOP contact person: Laquita Garcia, (972) 342-5116, lgarcia@organizetexas.org

The buses are FREE but you must reserve a seat here.

We’re expecting thousands of Texans to march and rally with us against police intimidation, oppression and violence in every form and against every community, including immigrants, LGBTQIA, women, refugees and people of color.

The police are supposed to serve and protect us, not hurt and kill us.

Join us this Saturday. RSVP here!

This is the fight for our lives.

Tarsha Jackson
Criminal Justice Director
Texas Organizing Project

Mamas Bail Out Day

Mamas Bail Out Day feature

Mothers should be with their families on Mother’s Day, not in jail waiting for a trial simply because they’re too poor to post bond.

This week, TOP and the Right2Justice coalition are partnering with organizations across the country to bail out mamas in time for Mother’s Day. Pitch in now to help us free mothers so they can be reunited with their families!

Every day, dozens of mothers languish in the Harris County Jail simply because they can’t afford bail. They haven’t been convicted of anything, and many are accused of minor infractions.

The judges that set bond in Harris County, however, like in so many other jurisdictions across the country, simply don’t care about poor people. To them, being poor equates to being dangerous.

Last week a federal judge ordered Harris County to stop jailing people for being poor. The order goes into effect May 15, but meanwhile, we are going to post bond for mothers so they can spend Mother’s Day at home with their families.

Pitch in $20 today, or any amount, so we can let these women know that being poor isn’t a jailable offense, that they deserve to be free while awaiting trial so they can take care of their families. We will begin bailing mothers out this week!

Justice shouldn’t be available only to those who can afford it.