Human Rights

Justice for Jordan Edwards: Cop Who Killed Unarmed Honor Student Must Be Held Responsible

Another innocent black boy shot and killed by a police officer. Will history repeat itself?

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

And it happens again.

This time is it was a 15-year-old victim named Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, Texas. Shortly after the honor student and popular football player left a house in the suburb of Dallas with his brother and friends, he was shot and killed by a police officer whose name has yet to be released. The Balch Springs police department initially said that the driver was using the car in an “aggressive manner,” coming towards the patrol car. We now know that this is lie.

In a press conference on Monday police chief Jonathan Haber told reporters that video shows the exact opposite.

“I unintentionally [was] incorrect yesterday when I said the vehicle was backing down the road,” Haber said. “In fact, according to the video that I viewed the vehicle was moving forward as the officer was approached.”

Lee Merritt, the Edwards family’s lawyer, told the New York Times in an phone interview that there was no apparent reason for the car to be fired upon.

“There were no weapons involved; there was no aggressive behavior; these were not suspects, “said Merritt. “The lone motive they had for the murder was that the vehicle was being used as a weapon, and now that is no longer there.”

This looks like it should be an open and shut case, but as we know the system has a glitch when it’s time to give black people the justice they deserve. Like Freddie Gray in Baltimore, who apparently broke his own neck; or Walter Scott in South Carolina, whose killing and the lies Michael Slager then told about his killing were captured on tape; or Eric Garner, executed in public on Staten Island­­. These all could have been open and shut cases if the American legal system didn’t clearly have a bias against black people.

Now we have to sit back and watch the police officers of Balch Springs investigate themselves with their own evidence, their own witnesses, and everything else needed to conjure up their own acquittal.

I hope I’m wrong. I really hope the cops don’t try to vilify this child in the media like the respective departments did to Gray, Scott and Garner­­, putting their personal lives — things that had nothing to with the incompetence of the police offices who devilishly chose their fate — up for judgment.

This would be great opportunity for Donald Trump, who supposedly wants to connect with and support “the blacks,” to make a statement publicly condemning the actions of the officer and the lies he told, and then demand justice. His black surrogates, like Ben Carson, Ray Lewis, Steve Harvey and who ever else has foolishly made attempts to work with him, should be leading this effort. I also know that won’t happen, but hopefully this killing of another unarmed black child in America by a scared, unqualified police officer will help more people wake up.



D. Watkins is an editor-at-large for Salon. He is a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. Watkins is the author of The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir.

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