World Bulletin / News Desk
A white Texas police officer was arrested Friday and charged with murder for killing a black teen who was driving away from a party.
Roy Oliver, 37, turned himself in to the Parker County Jail outside of Dallas and faces life in prison if convicted.
Oliver fired his rifle into a car packed with teens last Saturday night, hitting Jordan Edwards, 15, in the head, police said. Oliver was dismissed from the force earlier this week.
Body-cam footage showed that the car was driving away when Oliver shot Edwards, contradicting initial police reports that the car was traveling in the direction of the officer.
A private funeral ceremony for Edwards will be held Saturday.
Attorney Lee Merritt said Friday the Edwards family is “grateful" a murder charge was sought by prosecutors, according to media reports.
"I think it begins to at least give the appearance that the state is not going to sweep this clear wrong under the rug as it's done in the past," Merritt said. "However, we also have to learn from history that we don't have a conviction yet. And so we still have some ways to go."
Shooting deaths of blacks by police have long fueled tensions and led many to believe implicit racial bias on the force has caused overreactions with deadly consequences.
A South Carolina police officer on Tuesday admitted to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black man he fatally shot in the back during a traffic stop.
Michael Slager faces life in prison if convicted of using excessive force in the 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott in a case that caused nationwide uproar.
Scott’s death was one of a number of killings in 2015 and 2016 that provoked a national debate about law enforcement’s use of lethal force, particularly in cases involving blacks.
The Justice Department on Wednesday declined to charge two white officers in the shooting death of Alton Sterling, who was killed last July in Louisiana.
Sterling’s death on July 5 in Baton Rouge, and the killing of Philando Castile, by police in Minnesota the following day, led to massive protests across the country lead by the Black Lives Matter activist group.