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Mother of 15-Year-Old Jordan Edwards Joins Lawsuit Against Officer, City in Son’s Death; Also Sues Father

Charmaine Edwards speaks to supporters with son Vidal Allen (right) and husband Odell Edwards during a protest outside the courthouse in Dallas on May 13, 2017.  (L.M. Otero, File/AP Images)
Charmaine Edwards speaks to supporters with son Vidal Allen (right) and husband Odell Edwards during a protest outside the courthouse in Dallas on May 13, 2017. (L.M. Otero, File/AP Images)

The mother of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards on Friday filed to formally join the lawsuit against the city of Balch Springs, Texas, and ex-Police Officer Roy Oliver, who killed her son with a rifle as he was leaving a house party in April.


According to the Dallas Morning News, Shaunkeyia Stephens’ suit alleges that the city inadequately trained Oliver and also ignored warning signs that he was prone to erratic and violent behavior. It also alleges that the city engaged in a cover-up after her son was shot driving away from (and not coming aggressively toward) police called to a house party on April 29, 2017.


Jordan’s father, Odell Edwards, and his wife, Charmaine Edwards, brought a suit against the city in early May, and Edwards reportedly asked that Stephens’ initial petition to join that suit be denied.

A judge ruled June 5 that Stephens could join the suit and gave her until Friday to do so.

Sadly, Stephens is also suing Jordan’s father and stepmother, according to reports.


Stephens, who lives in Tarrant County, Texas, about an hour from where Jordan lived, says that she learned about her son’s death through social media. She also alleges that she was not contacted about her son’s funeral services, and then rebuffed when she tried to call about arrangements. The Dallas Morning News reports that she was not included in any of the pictures in the 12-page funeral program.

Stephens also alleges that a crowd-sourced fundraiser that collected more than $160,000 went only to the boy’s dad and his wife.


Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Edwards family, told The Root that Stephens’ lawsuit is without merit and is motivated by greed.

“Jordan was raised by Charmaine and Odell jointly since he was 4 years old. Odell had sole custody, and he and Charmaine were his sole providers. Stephens never paid any form of child support or exercised any visitation,” Merritt said.


“That notwithstanding, she was informed immediately of his passing and was taken to the Edwards home. The night he was killed was the first time she had set foot in Jordan’s place of residence,” Merritt continued. “Stephens’ claims of exclusion are baseless, defamatory and motivated by filthy lucre.”


On the criminal side of things, Oliver was fired from the city and charged with murder in May. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of charges brought against him.

Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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How could the situation of a kid being murdered by a cop possibly get worse? This is the answer to that question. And I’m not trying to be clever or funny. I have no idea whos right or wrong here, but as a single parent who had to go through a nasty custody battle to get full custody from an abusive spouse/parent, I’m literally nauseated rn.