Ex-cop who shot unarmed black teen had history of aggression

2017-11-10 13:24
US police. (iStock)

US police. (iStock)

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Dallas – A white former suburban Dallas police officer fired and charged with murder after killing an unarmed black teen has a long history of hostile and aggressive behaviour, according to a court record filed on Thursday.

The most recent instance was a night last April when former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver "flipped off" the vehicle in which 15-year-old Jordan Edwards sat, dead from Oliver's gunfire, according to the "notice of extraneous offenses" filed by the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

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Prosecutors state in the three-page filing that they will detail the former officer's behaviour for a Dallas County jury hearing the murder case. Oliver's attorney, Jim Lane, did not return messages seeking comment.

The earliest entry in the record shows that in eighth grade, Oliver carried a knife and a stun gun, wore paramilitary clothing and was a member of a group called "Caucasians in Effect", in which he posted swastikas in public places and hated anyone who wasn't Caucasian, according to prosecutors.

The court document also quoted from a 2011 pre-law enforcement employment psychological examination Oliver took. The assessment said Oliver "may feel so insensitive to threat that his judgement may be impaired in evaluating the risk of danger", and that "his sense of entitlement may be so strong that the possibility of his behaving in an antisocial manner must be considered".

Aggravated assault

In 2013, while testifying before a jury in Dallas County, the filing said Oliver was "uncooperative and used profanity" in his responses to an attorney's questions. He also used profanity and "communicated aggressively" with prosecutors and their staff.

Two weeks before Edward's death, he was accused of committing aggravated assault on two women during which he displayed a firearm.

The night Edwards died, Oliver and his partner were responding to a report of drunken teens at a party. When they entered the home where the party was, the officers heard rapid gunfire outside. They ran outside to find cars leaving, including the one carrying Edwards. Oliver said the driver of the sedan in which Edwards was riding ignored several orders to stop, leading to the shooting.

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In a court filing last July, Oliver said that he and his partner feared for their lives when the car carrying five teens, including Edwards, sped past them. Oliver contends he was startled when he heard breaking glass and believed his partner was under threat.

Oliver fired three to five times into the car, mortally wounding Edwards. He also asserted that gunshot residue was found on Edwards, but attorneys for Edwards' family say the gunshot residue came from Oliver when he contaminated the scene.

The murder trial is scheduled for January 22 in state district court in Dallas.


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