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White US cop guilty of murder in death of black teen

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AFP Chicago
A Texas jury has found a white police officer guilty of murder for the shooting death of a 15-year-old African American boy -- a rare conviction result in a high-profile police shooting case.
Roy Oliver had fired five bullets into a car full of teens last year, killing Jordan Edwards while responding to a call of underage drinking at a party in a Dallas suburb.
The unarmed Edwards and four others were leaving the party after hearing gunfire, which had come from another nearby location. Oliver fired a rifle into the car, hitting the teen in the head.
The trial jury also found the officer, who was reportedly fired from his job, not guilty of two aggravated assault charges.
The jury deliberated for two days before returning the rare murder conviction of a police officer.
Similar convictions in high-profile questionable shooting cases have proven mostly elusive, illustrating the difficulty of convicting officers in deadly encounters where split-second decisions are made.
Police originally said Oliver opened fire because the car was backing up aggressively toward him, but the department changed its account after viewing body-cam footage, saying the car was driving away when Edwards was shot.
Evidence suggested the police officer "intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death", the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement announcing Oliver's arrest warrant last year.
The shooting was among a growing list of similar cases in which African-Americans were killed by white police officers.
The high-profile incidents, often accompanied by official or eyewitness video footage, have fuelled outrage across the United States and given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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First Published: Aug 29 2018 | 3:40 AM IST

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