Community members plan prayer vigil for teen killed by Balch Springs officer

Community calls for changes after deadly shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards

DALLAS – The investigation into the officer involved shooting where a 15-year-old Mesquite High School student was killed by a Balch Springs Police officer is ongoing.

The shooting tragedy has people across the country talking right now.

“How many persons of color are going to have to be slaughtered in our streets before you do something,” asked community activist Jeff Hood.

The call to action came after a group of fired up faith leaders and community organizers met with the Dallas County District Attorney. Their meeting came one day after the Balch Springs Police Chief, Jonathan Haber, announced the firing of Officer Roy Oliver.

Oliver fired the rifle into a car, killing Jordan Edwards late Saturday night.

Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church, attended the meeting with the District Attorney. Haynes said, ”Sadly, Jordan Edwards is one in a long line of many unarmed, black or brown bodies, whose lives have been snatched from them by police officers, or should I say a policing system.”

The group met after temporarily calling off protests, out of respect for Edwards’ family and their wishes.

Hood said, “We expressed to her there is a big difference between seeking justice, and ravenously pursuing justice.”

The group says it discussed community demands and expectations with the District Attorney.

Haynes explained, “We are insisting on a transparent, vigorous, pursuit of justice in this case.”

Edwards was killed in a car full of witnesses. Including his brothers. As his family continues to grieve, some community members are planning a prayer vigil in the teen’s memory.

"The fact that we have to go through it again, is a tragedy in and of itself,” said Reverend Dr. Michael Waters.

Waters says Wednesday night’s vigil at Agape Temple A.M.E. church will have guests from across the country, including Dr. Cornell Williams Brooks, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The vigil will be followed by a non-violent direct action training session.

Waters explained, ”We want to prepare our community by all peaceful means possible, to provide the appropriate pressure necessary, to bring about holistic change through our criminal justice system.”

The Community Prayer Vigil and Non-Violent Direct Action Training will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at Agape Temple A.M.E Church, 3432 Mingo St. Dallas, TX 75223.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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