The family of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was shot and killed by a Texas police officer after leaving a party in April, spoke out Thursday for the first time following his death. The Edwards family told CBS News in an interview that the police officers at the scene used the n-word shortly after shooting Jordan.
Jordan was sitting in the front seat of a car leaving a party in a Dallas suburb April 29 when he was shot in the head by officer Roy Oliver. The Balch Springs Police Department originally said the car was moving toward officers in an “aggressive manner,” a story that was contradicted by video from the scene. The footage that emerged afterward showed that the car was moving away from the officers.
The Dallas County Medical examiner said Jordan’s death was a homicide resulting from a rifle wound to the head.
Sixteen-year-old Vidal Allen, Jordan’s stepbrother, was sitting next to him in the car when he was killed. Vidal told CBS News' Omar Villanfranca that they pulled over after Jordan was shot to get help and were confronted and detained by the same officers who shot him. Vidal said he was called the n-word by an officer before he was handcuffed. He said he thought he would be shot also.
“I’m not gonna be able to say goodbye to my parents or my brother that I have,” Vidal said he remembered thinking at the time.
The Balch Springs Police Department told CBS News they “reviewed many hours from officer’s body cameras and in-car cameras and have not heard any of the officers use the n-word to describe the boys.”
Jordan’s mother, Charmaine Edwards, said she had not gone back to church in the three weeks since the shooting because she would have to drive past the scene.
“I go in his room and I’m waiting on him to walk through the door like to have my last – for him to say ‘Bye, I’m gone,’” she said. “It’s like — it’s never gonna happen.”
Oliver, who reportedly fired multiple shots into the car Edwards was in, was fired from the force and charged with murder. The officer has since posted bail and was released. Jordan’s mother said Oliver must be held accountable for his actions.
“If the car was leaving the scene and he wasn’t posing a threat to anyone, why shoot?” she said. “But you’re literally shooting like you’re playing target practice. In my mind – it’s like he was hunting. You use rifles to kill animals. That’s what you do, and that’s what he did.”
“All I have is pictures now,” Jordan’s father, Odell Edwards, told CBS. “Throughout the house and on my phone. Every day, I look at the pictures and I just wish I could see him.”
The Edwards family filed a lawsuit against Oliver and the police department following the incident, alleging that the officer used excessive and deadly force and said the department did not provide adequate training.
“There was no reason that any person in America — not just a black person — should ever have to bury their 15-year-old child who was doing everything right in life,” said Jasmine Crockett, one of the family’s attorney’s, according to the Associated Press.
“You killed an innocent kid that loved life,” Jordan’s father said. “That would’ve made you even smile if you knew him.”