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Please Stop Talking About Jordan Edwards’ Grades

The Value of His Life Was Not Measured by His GPA or How Well He Played Sports

Let’s stop pointing to Jordan Edwards’ stellar GPA as some sort of justification for why he should not have been shot to death by a reckless and incompetent police officer. The fact that he was a human being who posed no harm should be more than enough reason for him to still be alive today.

Roy Oliver, the police officer who shot the 15-year-old Dallas-area teen as he was leaving a party, likely knew that as well. That is why he initially told his police chief that the car Edwards was sitting in had been “aggressively” driving backwards toward officers when he decided to open fire.

Oliver tried to justify shooting at a car full of kids with a rifle with a lie; we have been trying to justify why Edwards didn’t deserve to die by pointing to his grades. Are we saying that only angels deserve to escape such situations unscathed? Might I remind you that Dylann Roof murdered nine people in cold blood and is still very much alive today.

If God couldn’t care less about our merits when it comes to extending His grace, why are we citing a GPA to explain why a kid who posed no threat should be at home with his family right now?

Officer Roy Oliver and Jordan Edwards, the 15-year-old he killed April 29, 2017.
Officer Roy Oliver and Jordan Edwards, the 15-year-old he killed April 29, 2017.

Edwards could have been the worst student in all of Texas. He could have been a gang-banger, a drug dealer or even a wanted killer. That still would not have given the cop who ended his life justification to shoot at kids inside a moving vehicle.

But Edwards was no gang-banger, drug dealer or killer. He was just a kid trying to leave a house party that had gotten out of control.

He was with his brothers and their friends Saturday, April 29 driving away from the scene when Oliver chose to point his rifle and shoot into the car several times. Apparently, Oliver and other officers had been inside a house when the heard what sounded like gun shots. He ran outside, saw the car with Edwards driving away, and decided to shoot first and ask questions later.

Edwards had been sitting in the front passenger seat when one of those bullets pierced his head. He was declared dead at a hospital, but not before his brothers and friends watched him bleed out in their car. The Edwards family attorney said the boys realized the teen had been shot when they saw smoke coming from his head.

Oliver’s lie that he had been in danger when he shot at the boys’ car was foiled by body-camera footage. He was fired May 2. The fired officer’s actions “did not meet our core values,” according to Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber.

According to the New York Daily News: police officers in Oliver’s jurisdiction “are discouraged from firing at moving vehicles even when a car is headed toward them, with guidelines saying cops should ‘attempt to move out of its path, if possible, instead of discharging a firearm at it or any of its occupants.'”

Edwards’ parents are expecting their son’s killer to be charged, because that’s what the law says happens to people who kill — they are arrested, prosecuted and have their day in court.

We should thank God that Oliver’s reckless and ridiculous actions did not claim more lives that night.

So instead of suggesting that the value of Jordan Edwards’ life was measured by his excellent grades or exceptional athleticism, let’s examine what led an officer of the law to calculate that he could shoot into a car full of kids on a residential street and that a very obvious lie would shield him from the consequences.

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at)


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