Justice is Served

Gillian Holmgren

In August of 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson. He was unarmed and accused of a crime he did not commit. Michael Brown was not the first black man to be mercilessly killed by a police officer, and he definitely was not the last, followed by Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray. None of these victims got the justice they deserve, as no guilty charges were received by any of the officers. Police officers are not above the law, they should be held to an even greater standard for upholding it, not given a pass every time they break one.

In August of 2018, Roy Oliver was found guilty of murdering high school freshman Jordan Edwards. Edwards was at a house party in Balch Springs, TX on April 29, 2017 when police officers were dispatched to investigate reports of underaged drinking. When the cops arrived, kids fled, including Jordan and several of his friends, into cars. Officer Oliver thought he had heard shots fired from outside the house and suspected someone was armed, but the shots had come from a nursing home several blocks away. As the five unarmed black teens started to drive away, Roy Oliver fired his weapon as he felt the life of his partner was at risk from the kids driving towards him. His partner, Tyler Gross, stated that he did not feel he was in danger and did not feel the need to draw his weapon.

Oliver was not found guilty of two aggravated assault charges, but the fact that he, a white police officer in Texas, was found guilty of shooting a black 15 year old, is absolutely amazing. The Edwards family got the justice they deserved and Oliver will spend time in prison for his crime. This is a huge step towards progression and for the Black Lives Matter community. It’s not just about Jordan Edwards, but about every unarmed black man or women who was beat, brutalized, or killed by a police officer. It is a step in the right direction towards justice for Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and many, many more.

Since 2005, only 33 officers were found guilty of a killing while on duty. Oliver is only the second to be given a guilty charge of murder, while the others were given conviction charges of manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and official misconduct.