BLACK VOICES
05/06/2017 12:41 pm ET Updated May 06, 2017

Jordan Edwards Laid To Rest As Family Asks Community For Calm

“We are not ready to make a martyr of our son,” they said in a statement.

As the family of Jordan Edwards prepared to lay him to rest this weekend, they pleaded with their community not to demonstrate just yet ― this was a week for mourning the teenager.

His family released a statement saying that the 15-year-old’s wake Friday and funeral Saturday in Mesquite, Texas, would be private. “We are not ready to make a martyr of our son,” they said.

Edwards was killed last Saturday in Balch Springs when officer Roy Oliver, 37, fired upon a vehicle full of teenagers that was leaving a party. Edwards was shot in the head. The police department fired Oliver on Tuesday and he turned himself in Friday after a judge issued an arrest warrant. He has been charged with murder.

Edwards’ family wrote to The Root on Friday:

“We also ask our community and supporters to respect our wishes to refrain from protest, rallies, vigils, marches, etc. until after we have laid our son to rest. We need time to exhale. To allow Jordan’s death to be our own loss before we share this loss with the world. Though we understand what his life and death means symbolically, we are not ready to make a martyr of our son. Again, thank you for supporting us through this heart wrenching time.”

The Mesquite community and many others in and around Dallas were in mourning this week.

On Monday, members of Edwards’ Mesquite High School football team prayed for and wept with the boy’s family, according to The Washington Post. The school has made counselors available to students.

“Rest in Peace, Jordan,” the high school wrote in a Facebook message

The community held prayer vigils for the boy.

“Jordan was a loving child, with a humble and sharing spirit,” said Edwards’ family in a statement through their attorney, Lee Merritt, on Tuesday. “The bond that he shared with his family, particularly his siblings, was indescribable. Not only have Jordan’s brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless murder. Their young lives will forever be altered. No one, let alone young children, should witness such horrific, unexplainable violence.”

Not 35 miles away from the high school, another attack rocked a Dallas suburb on Wednesday. A man identified by police as Adrian Victor Torres, 21, shot and killed 20-year-old Janeera Nickol Gonzalez before turning the gun on himself at North Lake College. Gonzalez’s family members were preparing for that funeral too this week in Dallas.

Edwards is survived by his parents, Odell and Charmaine Edwards, and his three siblings. Charmaine Edwards told the New York Daily News that two of the teen’s older brothers were with him when he was shot, and they are now grief-stricken.

“When they dream, they see Jordan, with smoke coming out of his head from the shot. Charmaine Edwards told the Daily News Thursday. “That’s what they were forced to see.” 

Edwards’ private funeral service was scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.

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