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Balch Springs Police Chief: Shooting of Unarmed 15-Year-Old Didn't Meet Department's "Core Values"

Jordan Edwards
Jordan Edwards
Lee Merritt
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Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said Monday afternoon that the car in which Mesquite High School freshman Jordan Edwards was shot Saturday night was not, as Haber said Sunday, backing up toward officers responding to a party in Balch Springs.

Instead, Haber said, a police officer shot and killed Edwards, who was in the front passenger seat of the car, as the car drove away from the officer and the party. According to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, the officer shot Edwards with a rifle.

"I was unintentionally incorrect yesterday when I said that the victim's vehicle was backing down the road. In fact, according to the video that I viewed, the vehicle was moving forward as the officers approached," Haber said. "I do have questions in relation to my observations from the video and what is consistent with the policies and core values of the Balch Springs Police Department...We have a certain set of core values and this did not meet our values."

Haber said that the department will not release the body camera footage due to the ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting.

Police responded to a party on Baron Drive in Balch Springs after neighbors called to complain about blocked driveways and potential underage drinking. Edwards, a popular football player and honor student, piled into a car with a brother and two friends to get away from the party, before a still unnamed Balch Springs officer fired into the car. The teenagers were unarmed.

The officer, a six-year veteran of the Balch Springs Police Department, has been placed on leave.

Edwards family is represented by Dallas Attorney Lee Merritt, who held a press conference flanked by Charmaine and Odell Edwards, Jordan's parents, Monday. "We've heard excuses before in the past: You know why it happens, because the dads aren't present. That excuse isn't here," Merritt said. "Or the kid was violent. That excuse isn't present here."

Edwards' shooting is being investigated by the Dallas County District Attorney's Civil Rights Team, which investigates all cop shootings assigned to the office.

"We offer our sincere condolences to Jordan's family and will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we move forward expeditiously, with a commitment to justice and transparency," Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said in a statement.

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