Texas prosecutor Mike Snipes crossed the Thin Blue Line in the case of killer cop Roy Oliver on Monday, explaining to a Dallas jury why they should convict Oliver of murder.
The jury decided Oliver, who we wrote about in May, was guilty, sentencing him to 15 years in prison Wednesday for shooting and killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards as he was leaving a party last April riding in the passenger with his brother Kevon.
Initially, for three days after Oliver murdered Edwards, Oliver along Balch Springs police attempted to cover up for the teen’s death and continued to lie about the events that led up to it.
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber initially said it was necessary to shoot Jordan because Kevon, 16, was backing his car in which Jordan was riding aggressively towards officer Oliver.
But that was a lie.
Video footage from Oliver’s body cam revealed the car full of five teens was actually driving away from Oliver, who spent two tours in Iraq, before fatally shooting Edwards in the side of the head though the passenger side window.
During closing arguments Dallas first assistant district attorney Mike Snipes repeatedly crossed the proverbial Thin Blue Line, explaining why the jury ought to find Oliver guilty of murder.
“I’ve got a million police officer friends. I told ’em all. This case here doesn’t hurt you guys. It helps you. It helps you because now the public knows they can trust you to do the right thing.”
“Unlike what he did,” Snipes told the jury, pointing to Oliver.
“So don’t you worry about that. We’ll continue to work with police officers. We love ’em. But not when they do what he did that night.”
Snipes presented video of the shooting to the jurors frame by frame and argued that when Oliver fired his AR-15 five times in .93 seconds, he stole an innocent teenager’s life.
“He shot five times into the night. But for the grace of God, these three kids might have been dead too,” Snipes insisted to the jury.
“Think about that for a second.”
“You took that away from him. You murdered him. It could have been five murders,” Snipes said pointing at Oliver again.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the law and the evidence in this case is a verdict of guilty on all three counts.”
Now, years of debate about whether or not body cams will help solve the epidemic of police abuse in the U.S., the family of Jordan Edwards thanks the jury for their verdict.
“So many times, that you seen on TV, that this has happened. And nothing ever happens. Nothing ever happens. It’s like it happens and they’re justified and police just walk away and don’t have to give an account for anything,” Jordan Edward’s stepmother Chermaine Edwards told the jury after their verdict.
“And I’m forever grateful that y’all seen in it your hearts to see that is was wrong. And I’m thankful. Because for one, it doesn’t bring Jordan back. But we have some kind of closure.”
Oliver’s jury — that consisted of 10 women, half of whom were black or Hispanic, and two white men — decided his actions weren’t justified.