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.”
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.