Finally, justice for Jordan Edwards.

A Dallas County jury last Tuesday found Roy Oliver, a former Balch Springs, Texas, police officer, guilty of murder when he indiscriminately fired his rifle into a car full of teenagers leaving a party in April 2017.

In holding Oliver responsible for Jordan’s tragic death, 12 members of the community restored faith that there can be accountability in these senseless killings of citizens by police. This time, a white officer will have to answer for killing an unarmed black youth.

We joined a nation heartbroken and sickened by Jordan’s death. This honor-roll freshman at Mesquite High School had his whole life in front of him.

Oliver, 38, was responding to a call about a noisy house and ran from the home after hearing gunshots outside. The shots were later discovered to be from a nearby nursing home.

Oliver ran to his car to retrieve a rifle and fired it five times into the car, in which Jordan was a passenger as it drove away. The 15-year-old was dead in seconds – in a preventable tragedy.

Too often, communities have been torn apart by police shootings of black citizens. And the fact that it’s rare that officers are punished – even if there is video evidence – has eroded confidence in the criminal justice system.

In fact, a study by criminologist Philip M. Stinson pointed out that although there are about 1,000 police shootings a year, only 87 officers were charged with murder or manslaughter between 2005 and 2017. What’s more, only about 30 have been convicted.

We realize thousands of officers put their lives on the line and do the right thing each day. But the only way we can ever hope to build trust between police officers and the communities they serve is to see real consequences when any of our citizens are treated unfairly.

This jury’s verdict goes a long way.

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