Texas cop charged with murder in black teen's killing

A handout photo released May 2, 2017 by Merritt Law Firm showing fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards who was shot and killed in a vehicle by a Balch Spring.
A handout photo released May 2, 2017 by Merritt Law Firm showing fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards who was shot and killed in a vehicle by a Balch Spring.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Texas police officer who fired into a car full of teens, allegedly killing a 15-year-old African American boy, turned himself in on Friday (May 5) after being charged with murder, authorities said.

Roy Oliver, 37, who is white, was one of two police officers responding to a call about underaged drinking at a party in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs the night of April 29, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Jordan Edwards and four others were leaving the party in their car after hearing gunfire. Oliver fired a rifle into the car, hitting the teen in the head, media reports said.

Oliver, who has reportedly been fired from the Balch Springs Police Department, turned himself in and was booked on a murder charge at the Parker County jail in Weatherford, about 97km west of Dallas, according to county records.

He was released after posting a US$300,000 (S$421,410) bond, the records showed.

Police originally said Oliver opened fire because the car was backing up aggressively toward him, but the department changed its account after viewing body-cam footage, saying the car was driving away when Edwards was shot.

Evidence suggested the police officer "intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death," the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement announcing the arrest warrant.

The shooting is the latest killing of an African-American by a white police officer in a string of similar cases that have fueled outrage across the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to a Washington Post tally, Edwards was the youngest of the 339 people shot and killed by US police so far this year.