The family of Jordan Edwards, the 15-year-old who was fatally shot by a white suburban-Dallas police officer, has filed a lawsuit against (now former) Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver and the Balch Springs Police Department.
According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit accuses the department of inadequately training Oliver and also ignoring warning signs that he was prone to erratic behavior
The lawsuit, which was filed Friday, said that police should have known that Oliver had “exhibited a pattern of escalating encounters with the public,” including a recently revealed complaint filed by prosecutors about Oliver’s aggressive behavior.
The complaint indicated that prosecutors had a difficult time getting Oliver to attend a trial, adding that he was angry that he had to be there. Oliver also used obscene language, causing an assistant district attorney to send a female intern out of the room, and cursed during his testimony, according to the complaint.
Oliver was suspended for 16 hours over the incident, a term he completed by giving up two sick days. He was also ordered to take training courses in anger management and courtroom demeanor and testimony.
The lawsuit also accuses Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber and the department of failing “to provide adequate training to Oliver on appropriate methods and techniques to control situations similar to the one” that occurred on April 29, when officers were called to investigate alleged underage drinking at a rowdy house party with dozens of teens.
“There was no reason that any person in America—not just a black person—should ever have to bury their 15-year-old child who was doing everything right in life,” Jasmine Crockett, one of the family’s attorneys, said Sunday, according to AP.
According to Crockett, attorneys filed the lawsuit to maintain the legal rights of the teen’s father, Odell Edwards, and the suit broadly seeks damages for Jordan’s wrongful death, although it does not specify any amount of money.
Jordan was laid to rest Saturday after a funeral service at a Baptist church in Mesquite, Texas, that was attended by more than 800 people, including city officials and gospel singer Kirk Franklin.
As for Oliver, who was fired in the aftermath of Jordan’s killing, he turned himself in Friday after being charged with murder in the shooting and was later released on $300,000 bail, the Washington Post notes.
If convicted, Oliver could spend the rest of his life in prison.