DALLAS - A video expert showed jurors on Monday a side-by-side comparisons of body camera footage from the night a Balch Springs police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager leaving a party.
Dash camera video from the moments after the deadly shooting also brought many to tears when it was shown in court during the former Officer Roy Oliver’s murder trial.
The video showed officers detaining two brothers and two friends of the boy who was killed, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. They were telling them their friend was dead in the car.
The expert for the prosecution testified that the car Edwards was riding in had steered clear of Oliver and his partner before Oliver fired five shots into the vehicle. Edwards was shot in the head.
Monday’s testimony at Oliver's murder trial goes against his contention that he opened fire to protect his partner.
Edwards brothers and friends could be seen complying once they were later pulled over.
“Get your hands up! Stay in the vehicle,” an officer yelled.
Edwards’ stepbrother told Balch Springs Officer Jeremy Chamblee that Edwards was dead in the front seat.
“My brother’s dead!” Vidal Allen said through tears.
Officer Chamblee testified that he and Vidal prayed together once he was in the back of his patrol car.
"He asked me to join him in a prayer,” the officer said. “He was just asking God to watch over his brother. If he doesn't make it then God keep him safe.”
Officer Chamblee said Vidal told him he just wished he had a chance to tell Edwards that he loved him.
Forensic video expert Grant Fredericks took the stand to explain the video and audio leading up to the fatal shooting.
He created 3D renderings of where the shootings happened. He also synced up video from both Oliver and his partner’s cameras to show the jury in real time what happened from both officers’ perspectives.
“Side by side, we get to see what both of those cameras independently recorded, but at the same moment in time,” he said.
The expert’s testimony was all about timing. Oliver’s partner, Officer Tyler Gross, was yelling for the car to stop. Fredericks said it there was just over a third of a second between the time Gross broke the rear passenger side window to the first shot by Oliver.
Fredericks testified it took about .9-.93 seconds for Oliver to fire five rounds into the car carrying Edwards. His analysis showed the car was driving away from the officers when the shots were fired
“Officer Gross is not in the position to be impacted by the vehicle,” he said. “The vehicle was moving away from the officer.
Fredericks said his work shows the car steered away from Gross and Oliver prior to the shooting.
In cross-examining, Miles Brissette asked Fredericks about reaction time in his analysis of the final three shots after the car had passed Oliver. He answered that it was outside his area of expertise.
Former prosecutor Heath Harris is not involved in the case. He said reaction time does matter and officers are reacting to what they perceive.
“Defense is doing a good job of focusing on the fact that milliseconds do matter,” Harris said. “You got milliseconds to make a decision. Given the totality of the circumstances that were out there again, it’s gonna be tough. I would like to hear from the officer. I don’t know if we will, but that officer is the only one who can tell us why he fired those shots.”
Defense Attorney Jim Lane would not say if Oliver would take the stand himself. He said he expected his defense would provide one to two days of testimony.
Judge Brandon Birmingham and the attorneys will be back in court Tuesday morning for proceedings without the jury present. Testimony will resume with the jury present early Tuesday afternoon.