WHITE COP FROM TEXAS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR BLACK TEENAGER'S MURDERDate: 2018-08-31
A white former police officer from Texas in the US has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of the murder of an unarmed black teenager.
Roy Oliver received his sentence on Wednesday evening, just one day after he was convicted of killing an unarmed 15-year-old boy in April 2017. He fired into a car of black teenagers who were leaving a house party in Dallas.
He also was fined $10 000 as his conviction and sentence for killing Jordan Edwards were handed down by the same jury. Prosecutors in the case pushed for a minimum of 60 years in prison.
Although Edwards' family praised prosecutors and the verdict, they felt the sentence was too lenient, with Charmaine Edwards, Jordan's stepmother, saying, "He (Oliver) can actually see life again after 15 years and that's not enough because Jordan can't see life again."
The family were not the only ones dissatisfied with the murder sentence. The Dallas-based group Mothers Against Police Brutality released a statement saying that Oliver's sentence "is not at all commensurate with his crime."
Seldom does a murder conviction get handed to on-duty police officers but Daryl Washington, an attorney for Edwards' father, suggested that it could have been longer but could still send a message.
"We know that there are parents all over this country who would love to see the person who took the life of their kid, spend the next 15 years in prison," he said.
According to the criminologist, professor Phil Stinson, since 2005, only six non-federal police officers have been convicted of murder in similar cases, with four of those convictions being overturned.
Reports state that Oliver's defence team has already begun the process of appealing, saying that they "were concerned about his safety in prison and that authorities will take extra precautions to protect him."
His attorneys said he would be eligible for parole after seven and a half years.
Edwards' father has also filed a civil lawsuit in connection to the murder. "The jury's decision is not just about Jordan Edwards, but all other black men and women who have been killed and not received justice," said Washington, the attorney for the teen's father.