Honoring Jordan Edwards

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In many media accounts, Jordan Edwards is being described as having been a straight-A student, a talented athlete, and the product of a two-parent home. But as we talk about his life, do the words we use to describe him matter? The video above, illustrated by Youth Radio’s Dominik Vaughan, was inspired by the article, “Details of Jordan Edwards’ Police Shooting Death Change by Keith Reid-Cleveland of the Black Youth Project. In that article, Reid-Cleveland says:
“Many people have come out to grieve the loss of yet another unarmed citizen, especially a Black teen. However, the narrative has been slightly sidetracked by the fact that Edwards was a good student. While this is absolutely worth celebrating, it should be noted that academic success doesn’t make any one life worth more or less than another. If the same thing happened to a high school dropout, the public outrage should be just as strong and focused as it is now.”

Background: What happened?

Based on reporting by the New York Times, CNN, and the Dallas Morning News

Jordan Edwards, 15, was killed by a police officer on Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Balch Springs, Texas. He was a passenger in a car leaving a house party when he was shot in the head by a police officer. At first, Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said the officer fired after the car reversed “in an aggressive manner” toward him and another officer. Body camera footage later showed the car was moving forward and away from officers. Chief Haber later said he misspoke, and the officer’s behavior “did not meet our core values.”


The officer who killed Edwards has since been fired. No criminal charges have been filed as of the date of this article.

(Photo by Jose Lopez)
This DIY Socratic Seminar from our Teach Youth Radio Archive was made in response to black teenager Michael Brown’s death in 2014. But the lesson is just as relevant today when talking about Jordan Edwards. For more Youth Radio lesson plans and discussion topics, visit our Teach Youth Radio resource page.


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