Police Account Changes in Killing of Texas 15-Year-Old


“There were no weapons involved; there was no aggressive behavior; these were not suspects,” Mr. Merritt said in a telephone interview. “The lone motive they had for the murder was that the vehicle was being used as a weapon, and now that is no longer there.”

Efforts to reach officials with the Police Department after Monday’s news conference were unsuccessful.

Mr. Merritt called the change in the department’s account “a hopeful sign” about the transparency of the investigation, but he said the authorities needed to do more.

“They have a dead child, they have the identity of the shooter, and they have no explanation for the shooting,” Mr. Merritt said. “They have more than sufficient probable cause to make an arrest.”

Jordan, a popular football player, was killed shortly after leaving a party with a group of friends on Saturday night. The police said in a statement on Sunday that officers were in the area responding to a 911 call complaining about drunken young people.

The statement said officers fired on the car after they heard gunfire from an “unknown altercation.” Jordan, a passenger, was shot in the head and later died from his injuries at a hospital.

The shooting has unnerved Balch Springs, a city of about 23,000 people that lies about 15 miles east of downtown Dallas. The Mesquite Independent School District said Mr. Edwards “was a good student who was very well liked by his teachers, coaches and his fellow students.”

“The entire district — especially the staff and students of Mesquite High School — are mourning this terrible loss,” the district said.

Chris Cano, whose son played football with Jordan, told a local television station, WFAA, that he was a “great kid.”

“Awesome parents,” Mr. Cano said. “He was not a thug. This shouldn’t happen to him.”

The first day of spring football practice at Mesquite High School was canceled on Monday because of Jordan’s death.

His teammates are grieving, said Jeff Fleener, the coach of the high school team, the Skeeters. Sheer athleticism aside, Jordan’s “big smile” would be missed by his team, Mr. Fleener said in a telephone interview on Monday.

“I met Jordan on Day 1 and learned his name very quickly just because of the type of kid he was,” Mr. Fleener said.

Jordan, who weighed 150 pounds and was nearly six feet tall, had aspirations to play college football and was trying out for the team’s defensive position, Mr. Fleener said.

Jordan “spent a lot of time in the weight room to make himself better, bigger and stronger,” Mr. Fleener said. “The big thing is he was not scared to come hit somebody on the football field. Off the field, his big smile lit up a room, but he knew how to flip that switch on the field and play with some physicality.”

“He was excellent — 3.5 G.P.A., never in trouble, no attendance issues,” Mr. Fleener said. “He was a kid that did everything right.”

Officer Pedro Gonzalez, a police spokesman, said in a brief phone interview early Monday that the officers involved in the episode had been wearing body cameras. Mr. Gonzalez said they would be interviewed after they had been given a chance to “decompress.”

Body camera footage has been crucial in investigations of police shootings in the United States, particularly in cases involving black victims and white officers that have fueled racial discord in communities.

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Source: New York Times



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