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Witnesses: No reason for Texas police to fire into car

August 18, 2018

DALLAS (AP) — Teenagers who witnessed a police shooting that killed a high school freshman in Texas testified on Friday that there was no reason for the ex-officer to fire into the car carrying the victim and four other black teenagers.

The testimony came during the second day of the murder trial for fired Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver, who fatally shot Jordan Edwards, 15, after police broke up a house party in April 2017.

Body camera footage shows police having a friendly conversation with the party’s host when gunfire, later found to be fired near a nursing home, cut the exchange short. After the shots rang out, bodycam video shows Oliver retrieving a rifle from a patrol vehicle and going toward his partner’s location.

The footage also shows the car Edwards was in slowly backing up before driving forward.

Among the witnesses called to the stand Friday were Eric Knight and Jeremy Seaton, who told jurors they were across the street when Oliver fired into the car. The teenagers, who attended the party, said they could not see a justification for the gunfire.

The car, Seaton said, was not facing an officer at the time and had steered into the wrong lane of traffic to avoid the police.

Knight said he heard glass shatter as the vehicle drove away.

“It was definitely scary,” Knight testified. “It was a scary moment for me.”

Oliver has said he feared for his and his partner’s safety when the car sped by. But his partner testified Thursday that he did not fear for his life and that he never felt the need to fire his weapon.

Jurors also heard from Maxwell Everette, a teenager who was in the car with Edwards. When he saw Edwards had been shot, he was shocked.

At first, he thought Jordan had spilled a red drink he bought from a store. He then went quiet on the stand and lowered his head.

Moments later, after questions from a prosecutor, the 17-year-old raised his head and said he was in fear for his life.

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