Balch Springs

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Claims Balch Springs Police Violated Rights of Murdered Teen

The families of the teenagers filed a motion for the city to be held liable for the officer's actions

balch springs
NBC 5 News

A federal district judge on Monday refused to dismiss claims that the Balch Springs police department violated the constitutional rights of a group of teenagers that included murdered 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.

Edwards was leaving a party with his friends and siblings when former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver shot into their car five times. Edwards was killed while the other teens in the car were arrested without being told why, according to documents.

Oliver was convicted of murder in 2018 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

On July 2, family members of the five teenagers filed a motion asking for the city to be held liable for allowing the Balch Springs Police Department to promote an unconstitutional use-of-force policy and failing to train, supervise and discipline its officers, claiming the policies violated the teenagers' Fourth Amendment rights.

In the motion, the families argue that the department's use-of-force policy is unconstitutional because it doesn't specify that force may only be used when an officer is in immediate danger, and it allows an officer to consider subjective factors when deciding how much force to use.

A district judge had granted multiple requests from the city to dismiss various versions of the motion, but the families were allowed to amend their filing each time. 

According to court documents, the district judge will set a date for the case to be held before a jury trial after all other motions are decided.

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