Statement on the prosecution of former police officer Roy Oliver in the murder of Jordan Edwards

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MEDIA ADVISORYFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 10, 2018

CONTACT:

Sara Mokuria, 214-454-3980sara.mokuria@gmail.comJohn Fullinwider, 214-683-2493jhfullinwider@gmail.comCollette Flanagan- collette@mapbdallas.com

Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB), Dallas, Texas

The entire nation was shocked on April 29, 2017, by the killing of Jordan Edwards, a popular 15-year-old African American high school athlete and honor student, shot dead through the window of a car leaving a party. Jordan was unarmed, as were the other teens in the car. Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver fired a high-powered rifle into the vehicle, shooting Jordan in the head as he sat in the front passenger seat.
Dallas County DA Faith Johnson indicted Oliver two months later on charges of murder and four felony counts of aggravated assault by a public servant (one each for the other teens).

MAPB co-sponsored a March to End Police Brutality on Saturday, June 17, 2017, with a rally of more than 1,000 people at Pike Park. The following Wednesday, the DA indicted Dallas police officer Christopher Hess on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant in the killing of Genevive Dawes, a 21-year-old Latina mother of two. Hess shot Ms. Dawes in January 2017, who was unarmed, through the window of the car she was driving.

These two indictments, and the beginning of the trial of Oliver, are not only important because of the facts of each fatal shooting, but also because indictments of police officers who kill are so rare. More than 1,000 people are killed each year by police officers in the United States, about 10 percent of total gun homicides. But the number of indictments has averaged only 5 per year, and the number of convictions is even fewer.  The indictment of Dallas officer Christopher Hess was in fact the first indictment of a Dallas officer involved in a fatal shooting since 1973.

MAPB has urged DA Faith Johnson to review all fatal shootings by Dallas police since 2000. The unit that investigates police shootings was only created in 2015. Prior to that time, the DA’s office typically rubber-stamped the police department’s internal investigations. “The way police shootings were handled is a travesty of justice,” said Collette Flanagan, MAPB founder, whose unarmed son was killed by a Dallas officer in 2013. “By creating the new civil rights unit, the DA’s office admitted the investigations were completely inadequate. It only makes sense to take a second look at the shootings where they turned a blind eye before.”
MAPB will have observers at the Oliver trial next week. “We expect an effective and vigorous prosecution,” said Sara Mokuria, MAPB co-founder, whose father was killed by Dallas officers in 1993. “Justice demands it.”

Click here to read MAPB’s complete 9 steps to Fair and Just Policing.

About Mothers Against Police Brutality

Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB) Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB) is an emerging, Dallas-based multi-generational, multi-racial, and multi-ethnic coalition uniting people nationally, from all walks of life, to hold law enforcement agencies more accountable. Collette Flanagan founded MAPB in 2013 after her son, Clinton Allen, an unarmed young man in custody, was shot to death by a Dallas police officer. MAPB works for an immediate end to the use of deadly force against unarmed persons; for changes in the overall use of excessive and deadly force to stop unnecessary injury and death; for changes in the treatment of mentally ill persons by police; for assistance to the families of the victims of police violence; for transparency and objectivity in the investigations of police misconduct; and for other changes in police policies and procedures to protect the lives of civilians, with a particular focus on protecting the lives of African American and Latino youth. Transforming grief into determination, Flanagan and MAPB are leading the charge to change deadly force policy in Dallas and throughout the U.S., to support families who have lost loved ones to police violence, and to help restore trust between the police and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.

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