Friday, May 5, 2017

While You Were Sleeping: Jordan Edwards Shooting

Whenever there is any shooting of a Black person by police the first thing that is done is digging. Media outlets and bloggers who side with the police regardless of any information that has or has not been released will begin to see if their “side” is going to win another fight. Its stupid and never something I understand. People do the same thing with politics, religion, and their race. They want to know if someone who is now dead ever committed a crime, hit a woman, or owned a gun to justify why they are no longer breathing. Jordan Edwards is a 15 year old kid that was shot and killed by Officer Roy Oliver last Saturday in Balch Springs, Texas.

I have not heard much about this online. Usually, whether I want to or not, news like this will creep into my timeline but people have been very quiet. Probably occupied with healthcare stuff I am too uninterested in to read about. Jordan was leaving a party with his brothers and a friend and were leaving before police arrived because it was loud and driveways were being blocked as well as possible underage drinking. As the car drove away they were told to stop be police. When it did not stop Officer Roy Oliver fired a rifle into the car hitting Jordan in the head. Roy Oliver has now been fired. Oliver first said that the car was coming at him and the officers “in an aggressive manner” but later changed it to them driving away from them. Big difference between the two.

Oliver was fired for not following policy such as shooting at moving vehicles whether or not they are headed towards an officer. He got fired for not following procedure. Not lying or killing a kid. Jordan's family believe that Oliver should be charged with murder. As for Jordan's parents so far no one has been able to discredit or slander them. His father Odell Edwards owns a trucking business and his mother Charmaine Edwards work s in the industry as well. Jordan has two other sons that are 16, a year older than Jordan was named Vidal and Kevon, as well as a young daughter. Vidal was the one driving and saw is brother shot. From all accounts the three of them took care of one another.

Jordan's father stated “As soon as they shot Jordan, my son Vidal called me instantly. He drove the car away from the police up the block so that nobody else would be shot and then pulled over. All I could hear was screaming and crying and the boys saying that police had just shot and killed Jordan. I could hardly make sense of it all.” Odell says the phone went dead. Police got the boys out of the car at gunpoint. 

Mind you, at this point the boys have done nothing wrong besides not pull over immediately. There was no car chase. No report of a car full of teens with weapons. One of them, your own brother, is next to you with a bullet in his head. How calm are you? How clear thinking are you? You just left a party because it was too loud. The boys have said that their ears were ringing from the gunshots. They also say the police mocked them from not knowing their left from right when given instructions. Well, the 4.0 honor student is busy dying from a gunshot wound to the forehead at close range. Someone is quoted as saying “These ni**ers can't tell their left from right.” This has yet to be confirmed. Jordan was shot as his brother set the car to park. And yes, a body camera recorded all of this.

The boys were arrested and taken to jail while Jordan was left alone in the car dying. Their father Odell began searching for his sons. “I just got in my car and drove all over town looking for Jordan, looking for the boys, looking for my car. I drove up and down every street I could and nothing. I couldn't find them anywhere. When I saw an ambulance, I decided to call 911 to see if they could tell me anything about where my boys were. They just told me to go to the police station, but when I got there, they wouldn't tell me anything at all. As I paced in and out of the lobby, an officer came out then acted like he was going to arrest me for disturbing the peace. Finally when I explained what was going on, they left me alone a little bit, but we waited for hours not knowing anything.”

The family was finally told that Jordan was in a hospital and the others were in jail but could not say why. This is the damage control part of the “game.” Instead of telling panicked parents what is going on with their children you have to contact lawyers, supervisors, and block media from getting information that would make you look bad. The family have asked for people to not protest at this time because it would just be a distraction from justice. Maybe that's why I haven't heard much about this. People can't post images of them posing next to police to post on Twitter and Instagram. Why bother protesting if you can't get likes, right? His teachers and football coach as well as teammates and other students have nothing but good things to say about Jordan. Honor student. He played quarterback and receiver for the football team. Polite. There is no past criminal history with any of the boys in the car. This is not a single parent home where the family is struggling and the kids are just running wild.

As for Oliver, his parents are saying he may be suffering from PTSD (he is a U.S Army veteran). Yeah. Hire and give that guy a gun and tell him to serve and protect. His mother Linda Oliver stated “He is very honorable, very community driven. He was raised to consider more than just himself, to think about the community, and I'm very proud of him and the choices he's made. As a mother, I have compassion for the family and the loss of their child. It's just tragic. I retired from educating so I could have easily had him as a student at one point.” Oliver is also raising two kids born 12 days apart from his ex wife and his girlfriend. You do that math. 

He has also been suspended in the past because he had to attend court and decided that cursing on the stand was an adult way to handle the situation. He also has other instances of not knowing how to deal with the public.

I'm not sure how to end this. You can't say police need more body cameras. That's a thing now and it has not helped. This particular cop was fired, but what does that do really? He can still appeal it. What needs to happen, and not just in law enforcement, is better vetting processes. If you hire a vet that has seen battle assume there is some form of PTSD and treat it. Hat you don't do is take someone that has seen war and send them back home and give them a job with another weapon. I don't see how that makes sense. This country is not a war zone but we police it like one.

Click here for previous While You Were Sleeping.

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