On Saturday, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was fatally shot in the head by a police officer while attending an end-of-the-year party in Balch Springs, Texas. Tragically, he is the latest young, unarmed black teen to be fatally shot by a police officer, and though it's crucial to recognize this terrible trend, it's important to remember Edwards as more than a name on a seemingly unending list. He was a son. He was a student. He was an athlete. And a handful of photos of Edwards posted on social media show how he should be remembered now and in the coming days.
Edwards was a straight-A student who enjoyed playing football with his teammates at Mesquite High School. In a statement following his death, his family described him as "a loving child, with a humble and sharing spirit." "The bond that he shared with his family, particularly his siblings, was indescribable," the statement continued. His life ended too soon through no fault of his own, and his memory will live on through the calls for justice that will undoubtedly demand for an end to police brutality. (The officer responsible has been fired and his lawyer told the Dallas Morning News he will not comment at this time, as an investigation is underway). But Edwards' tragic death by no means defines his life. In order to honor his memory, we should take time to reflect upon how he positively impacted others as an individual when he was alive.
As A Positive Spirit
"Even through workouts you still smiled," his father Odell Edwards wrote in an Instagram post honoring his son.
As An Athlete
Edwards was a running back for the Mesquite Texans Pee Wee football team. "We will find our own way as a team to honor Jordan every day that we have the opportunity to put on pads and play the game he loved," his coach Jeff Fleener said on Twitter.
As A Student
Edwards was an honor student with a GPA above 3.85. "He was a good student who was very well liked by his teachers, coaches and his fellow students," the Mesquite High School district said in a statement.
As A Bright Smile
HE HAS A NAME: 15 year old Jordan Edwards was and shot and killed by a Balch Springs, TX police officer on Sat. night. He was unarmed. pic.twitter.com/q3Mkv8YLpT— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) May 1, 2017
"I want to see his smile again," family friend Chris Cano said.
As A Loving Sibling
Edwards was extremely close with his siblings, his parents said in a statement. "The bond that he shared with his family, particularly his siblings, was indescribable."
As A Son
"He loved his family even more than he loved football," friend and teammate Thomas "Dewey" Colombrito told the Dallas Morning News. "You could trust him with the world."
Edwards was a bright, positive, studious young teen who touched the lives of teachers, educators, and friends — and that is how he should be remembered.