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Notice how police reports abruptly change when video evidence crops up: Shooting of black teen in Dallas suburb did not meet ‘our core values,’ police chief says

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Katie Mettler, Lindsey Bever, and Wesley Lowery report in the Washington Post:

Police have retracted earlier accounts that a vehicle was reversing toward officers in an “aggressive manner” when one of the officers opened fire, striking and killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in a Dallas-area suburb Saturday night.

In a news conference Monday, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said that he initially “misspoke” and that the vehicle had begun to drive away at the time the officer opened fire. He questioned whether the shooting was necessary.

“I unintentionally (was) incorrect when I said the vehicle was backing down the road … in fact I can tell you that I do have questions in relation to my observation (of) the video,” Haber said. “After reviewing the video, I don’t believe that (the shooting) met our core values.”

Haber, who declined to release the video footage of the shooting as well as the name of the officer involved, said that evidence will be presented to a grand jury.

Jordan is the youngest of the more than 330 people who have been shot and killed by police in 2017, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings. About 25 percent of those fatally shot by police this year have been black, and about 7 percent of those killed have been unarmed at the time they were shot. At least 10 people shot and killed by police this year were under  18.

Earlier, the police chief said that officers were dispatched to the 12300 block of Baron Drive in Balch Springs after receiving a 911 call at 11 p.m. reporting several drunken teens walking around the neighborhood.

When officers arrived, they heard gunshots, Haber said. In what police described as an “unknown altercation,” a vehicle then began “backing down the street toward the officers in an aggressive manner.” By Monday afternoon, police had retracted that statement.

One officer shot at the vehicle, Haber said, striking Jordan, who was in the front passenger seat.

Jordan was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office said he was killed by a rifle wound to the head.

The officer was placed on administrative duty. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office are conducting their own investigations into the shooting, and the Balch Springs Police Department will oversee an internal investigation.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Edwards’s family, said at a news conference Monday that the family is calling on the police department to release the name of the officer as well as audio and video footage of the incident.

“We are declaring war on bad policing. This has happened far too often,” he said. “We are tired of making the same rhetorical demands, of having the same hashtags; our community is fed up with the same tired excuses, once again offered by Balch Springs Police Department yesterday, that this was somehow the fault of the victims — teenage kids with no criminal records, with no motive to attempt to hurt anyone, with no evidence that they ever attempted to hurt anyone.”

“Another family ripped apart by police brutality,” he wrote Sunday on Twitter. “There was absolutely no justification for this murder. We demand justice!” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 May 2017 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Law Enforcement

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