BALCH SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of a 15-year-old black teen by a white police officer in suburban Dallas (all times local):
A Dallas-area police officer who shot and killed a 15-year-old black teenager had previously faced a conduct complaint from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
Personnel records obtained by The Associated Press show former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver was suspended for 16 hours in 2013 after a complaint from the prosecutor’s office. That office is now investigating the shooting Saturday night in which Oliver fired a rifle at a car full of teenagers leaving a party, striking and killing Jordan Edwards.
The complaint from the prosecutor’s office was over his conduct toward people in the office and in court. The prosecutor’s office said that in one instance, Oliver was aggressive, using vulgar language that resulted in staff asking a female intern to leave the room. The office said that he later swore when asked a question in the courtroom.
Messages left with Oliver’s attorney and with a spokeswoman at the prosecutor’s office Thursday were not immediately returned.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s virtual silence after the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer outside a suburban Dallas house party is sparking outrage from Democrats.
The ire is intensified because Abbott was quick to condemn as “tragic” two subsequent events: stabbings at the University of Texas and the shooting of a Dallas paramedic.
Proposals to discourage police shootings also have stalled in the Legislature.
Police in Balch Springs have fired the officer who killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, saying he violated department policies.
Dallas Democratic Sen. Royce West wants to meet with Abbott to discuss more officers using body cameras. He said Thursday: “I’m not playing the race card. I’m playing the reality card.”
In response to reporters’ questions, Abbott released a statement saying, “The Edwards family deserves a fair and full investigation into this tragedy.” But it’s not been widely distributed.
The Dallas suburb where a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager as he left a party has a population that’s just 20 percent white but a police department that’s 80 percent white.
Balch Springs now confronts the same issues of race and law enforcement as Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and other cities that have been thrust into the spotlight because of police killings of African-Americans.
Officer Roy Oliver was fired three days after the Saturday night shooting. But lawyers for 15-year-old Jordan Edwards’ family said Wednesday that the city must answer for more than Oliver, including a racial slur allegedly yelled at one of Edwards’ brothers moments after the shooting. The family also wants the officer to be charged with a crime.
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