A white policeman in the US has been found guilty of murdering a 15-year-old black boy after he fired five bullets into a car full of teenagers. Roy Oliver was responding to a call of underage drinking at a party in a Dallas suburb.
Oliver fired into the car, shooting unarmed Jordan Edwards in the head and killing him.
Edwards and four others were leaving the party after hearing gunshots which had come from another nearby location. Jordan Edwards was 15 when he was shot in the head. Oliver could face between five to 99 years in prison for the murder conviction.
Tearful family members could be seen embracing during a court recess after the verdict was read.
“I’m happy, very happy. It’s been a long time,” the teen’s father Odell Edwards said.
The jury had deliberated for just two days before returning the rare conviction of a police officer in a high-profile shooting. Edwards’ family lawyer Daryl Washington said the case was “about every African American, unarmed African American, who has been killed and who has not gotten justice.”
Police originally said Oliver opened fire because the car was reversing aggressively toward him, but the department changed its account after viewing bodycam footage, saying the car was driving away when Edwards was shot.
During the trial, Oliver testified that he fired because the car was driving toward his partner.
“I had to make a decision,” Oliver said. Oliver could face between five to 99 years in prison
“This car is about to hit my partner, there are threats inside the car and when lethal force is being presented toward us, I had no other option but to use lethal force.”
But Oliver’s partner Tyler Gross testified at trial that he had not felt in danger, according to US media reports.
“I just wanted them to stop,” Mr Gross said, according to WFAA TV. “I was not in fear at that point.”
The shooting is part of a series of similar cases in which black men were killed by white police officers.
The incidents have fuelled outrage across the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Oliver was the first on-duty Texas officer in more than 40 years to be convicted in a shooting death, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.