15-Year-Old Texan Jordan Edwards was laid to rest on Saturday, May 6th, in Mesquite, Texas at Friendship Baptist Church.
Edwards was a vibrant young Black boy fatally shot by former officer Roy D. Oliver. Oliver, a White man, killed Edwards when he fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party a week ago.
According to the New York Times, Oliver and another officer responded last Saturday to reports of underage drinking at a house party. The two officers entered the house but left after the police said they heard gunshots outside the residence. As a car with five black teenagers inside drove away from the house, Oliver fired his AR-15 rifle, fatally striking Jordan Edwards in the head, according to the police and the law firm representing the Edwards family.
Originally the Balch Springs Police Department Chief Jonathan Haber reported that the car was reversing aggressively toward the officers when Oliver shot into it. After reviewing the officers’ body cam, Chief Haber corrected his original report. The camera showed that the car was accelerating forward when Oliver fired the shot. Oliver has since been fired, arrested, charged with murder and released from jail after posting bail (set at $300,000).
This story is heartbreaking to countless people around the globe, but the family of Jordan Edwards said they need time to exhale. “[We have] to allow Jordan’s death to be our own loss before we share this loss with the world. Though we understand what his life and death means symbolically, we are not ready to make a martyr of our son.”
Edwards was a freshman at Mesquite High School, and he was a member of the football team. According to The LA Times, his teammates attended his burial wearing their white-and-maroon jerseys.
It’s mentally debilitating to be constantly reminded that the color of your skin is a viable reason to be murdered.
Rest in peace Jordan.
Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.