May 6, 2017 / 6:49 PM / 7 months ago

Texas officer charged with murder in shooting of teen released on bond

(Reuters) - A former Texas policeman who has been charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager with a rifle has left jail after posting bond, authorities said on Saturday.

The bond for former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver, 37, was $300,000, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said in a text message.

Oliver surrendered to authorities on Friday, after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of murder, to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office west of Dallas and a jail official for the county confirmed Oliver was released on bond the same day.

Oliver, who is white, was fired by the force of the suburban Dallas police department earlier this week for policy violations.

The shooting, which took place on April 29 in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood in Balch Springs, about 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Dallas, stoked simmering tensions over perceived racial bias in U.S. policing.

A lawyer representing Oliver did not return calls seeking comment.

Balch Springs police have said Oliver and another officer were responding to a disturbance on the Saturday night and heard multiple gunshots. They came across the vehicle with the teens and ordered it to stop, but it pulled away.

Jordan Edwards, a black high school student described by family and friends as a stand-out student and athlete, was struck by a bullet to the head and died.

The Edwards family planned a private funeral service on Saturday.

An attorney for the family has asked supporters to avoid holding any protests or vigils until the teenager is laid to rest.

The Balch Springs Police Department on Tuesday announced it had dismissed Oliver for violating department policies, but it declined to give details on which policies were violated.

Police body-camera footage from the scene was reviewed before the department made its decision to fire Oliver.

Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber told a news conference on Tuesday that the video contradicted an earlier version he gave of the incident in which he said the car was in reverse and heading toward the officer.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Chris Reese

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