Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
The suburban Texas police officer who shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards after firing into a car of teenagers leaving a party Saturday night has been fired, police announced on Tuesday.
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said the decision to terminate Roy Oliver was based on an internal review of body camera footage from Oliver and another officer at the scene. Police had initially claimed that Oliver fired on the car because it was aggressively backing up, but footage showed that it was actually driving away.
“You have my assurances that my department will continue to be responsive, transparent and accountable,” Haber said at a news conference Tuesday evening.
Oliver, who joined the Balch Springs Police Department in July 2011, was responding to reports of underage drinking around 11 PM on Saturday. Police claimed to have heard gunshots outside the party, and Oliver opened fire with an AR-15 rifle on the car where Edwards was in the passenger seat, along with two of his brothers and two friends. Edwards, an honor roll high school freshman, was shot in the head.
In a statement after the officer’s firing was announced, the Edwards family praised the police department’s handling of the case, but acknowledged the “long road” to justice that lies ahead.
“The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated,” the statement read. “We fully expect an equivalent response from those responsible for investigating and punishing the crime. We also know that although his actions were the most wicked and consequential, he was not the only officer responsible for dreadful behavior that evening.”
- There will be no federal charges against the two white police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, whose death was caught on cellphone video last summer.
- Thousands of Flint residents risk losing their homes over unpaid bills for the city’s still-contaminated water.
A story we’re watching: the brewing battle over Trump’s latest “religious liberty” executive order, which senior administration officials said yesterday that the president is poised to sign. Although a draft hasn’t been released, civil rights groups say they’re ready to take legal action over the order, which would reportedly allow businesses and other groups to refuse service based on religious grounds, a provision widely viewed as an anti-LGBTQ measure.
Melania Trump hasn’t used her personal Twitter account since the election, but she—or whoever’s running the thing—made a brief return on Tuesday night, like a brilliant comet streaking across the sky, to like a tweet about how bad her marriage is. Here’s the receipt (she later unliked the tweet) via Gizmodo’s William Turton: