Former Balch Springs cop to be sentenced for killing unarmed black teen

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DALLAS -- Guilty of murder.

That`s the unanimous decision handed down to former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver, Tuesday afternoon, after a trial that lasted a little over a week.

The courtroom remained mostly calm throughout the deliberation, but there were audible gasps, hugs and tears from the family of Jordan Edwards.

"I just want to say I'm happy, very happy," a tearful Odell Edwards told reporters after learning his son's death would not be in vain. "It's been a long time, a hard year."

"We did it," he added. "We did it."

Reactions to the stunning verdict poured in on social media, including one from Governor Greg Abbott.

Jordan, 15, was killed in April of 2017 when Oliver fired multiple shots at the car he was traveling in with four other young men as they drove home from a party.

In a racially polarizing case that sparked outrage in North Texas and drew national attention, the Balch Springs Police Department initially said Jordan's vehicle was reversing aggressively toward Oliver and his partner, forcing him to use deadly force.

Chief Jonathan Haber later revealed that wasn't true after the officers' own body cameras showed the car was actually speeding away.

"Again, I said I mispoke," Haber told reporters days after the murder. "I take full responsibility for that. In fact, according to the video that I viewed, the vehicle was moving forward as the vehicle approached."

A disgraced Oliver was fired from the Balch Springs police force.

"This case is not just about Jordan," Attorney Darryl Washington told reporters after the trial. "It's about Tamir Rice. It's about Walter Scott. It's about Arnold Sterling. It's about every unarmed African-American who has been killed, and who has not gotten justice."

The trial is now in the punishment phase. Oliver could get up to life in prison.

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