US: Ex-police officer convicted for killing black teen

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – A white former Texas police officer was convicted Tuesday for the April 2017 killing of an unarmed black teenager.

Roy Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs Police Department days after shooting into a car carrying five teens as they were leaving a party, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.

He was found guilty of murder by jurors in a Dallas County courtroom but not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault.

The ex-officer had pleaded to the court, claiming he had no choice but to shoot because his partner was in danger.

But his partner, Tyler Gross, testified saying they were in no danger and that he did not feel the need to shoot at any time.

The conviction is a rare occurrence since only 33 percent of police officers are convicted of crimes when going to trial, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, an ABC online affiliate.

The decision was good news for the family of Edwards, who had filed a civil lawsuit over his death.

"I'm happy, very happy. It's been a long time, a hard year," Edwards' father, Odell Edwards, told NBC news.