Should police ever shoot at moving cars?

Fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards was killed by police in Texas while the car he was in drove away from officers.

There are so many questions surrounding his untimely death, but one of them is age-old in policing: Should police ever shoot at moving vehicles?

Well, the Balch Springs Police Department — the department involved in Jordan's death — expressly forbids shooting at a moving vehicle unless the vehicle is an immediate threat to an officer or others.

"We have a certain set of core values, and it did not meet our values," Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber said.

Other departments around the country have similar policies.

"The movement of the vehicle alone does not justify deadly force," an officer said in a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department training video.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the largest sheriff's department in the U.S., banned the practice unless there is an imminent threat other than the vehicle.

SEE MORE: Baton Rouge Police Avoid Federal Charges For Alton Sterling's Death

In many of these cases, when officers say there's a deadly threat, they are referring to the vehicle potentially hitting them or another person.

The problem is, shooting into a vehicle doesn't necessarily stop the person behind the wheel or the car itself. For example, in the 2015 shooting of Samuel Dubose, the car just continued to drive until it ran into something.

In the shooting death of Paul O'Neal, Chicago police opened fire on O'Neal without stopping the car or the driver.

Some of the largest PDs in the country — New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver and Dallas — have very specific rules prohibiting this practice. But officers are still killing people.

According to The Guardian, police in the U.S. killed 48 people per year, or an average of four per month, in 2015 and 2016 by shooting at moving vehicles.

26 PHOTOS
States with the toughest gun laws
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States with the toughest gun laws
National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meetings and exhibits show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 21, 2016. (Reuters)

#24. West Virginia
Score: 
18
Grade: D- 

West Virginia may rank low in terms of overall gun control, but in 2015 Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

#23. Indiana
Score:
 19.5
Grade: D-

The relatively lax firearm laws in Indiana have led some to link them to gun violence in Chicago.

#22. New Hampshire
Score: 
20.5
Grade: D

New Hampshire requires handgun dealers to obtain a state license, but does not extend the rule to dealers of rifles and shotguns.

#21. Nebraska
Score: 
21.5
Grade: D

Nebraska differs from many states in that it gives local jurisdictions some control over firearm regulations.

#20. Virginia
Score: 
22
Grade: D

Following the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the state took greater measures to report mental health records and prohibit sales of firearms to any person who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective."

#19. Ohio
Score: 
24
Grade: D

Ohio does not prohibit the sale of assault weapons nor limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time.

#18. Wisconsin
Score: 
25
Grade: D

In a major blow to gun control advocates, Republican Gov. Scott Walker repealedthe state's mandatory 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in 2015.

#17. Iowa
Score: 
29
Grade: C-

Iowa took steps to tighten gun control when it enacted child access preventionrequirements upon gun owners.

#16. Colorado
Score: 
29.5
Grade: C-

While Colorado requires licensed firearms dealers to process background checks, it does not impose limits on the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time.

#15. Michigan
Score: 
30
Grade: C

Michigan gun control laws require firearm owners to report handgun purchases and theft of any firearm.

#14. Oregon
Score: 
31
Grade: C

Oregon greatly strengthened its firearm regulations in 2015 when it enacted laws requiring background checks for all firearm purchases.

#13. Pennsylvania
Score: 
35
Grade: C

Compared to other solidly Democratic states, Pennsylvania's gun control laws are relatively lax, with no requirements for firearm owners to obtain licenses or register their weapons.

#12. Minnesota
Score: 
36.5
Grade: C

Although federally licensed firearms dealers must initiate background checks, Minnesota does not require private sellers to do so.

#11. Washington
Score: 
47.5
Grade: B-

Washington requires all firearm dealers to obtain a state license, but does not mandate that individuals register their weapons.

#10. Delaware
Score: 
50.5
Grade: B

Delaware has relatively strict gun control measures, including mandatory background checks and purchase restrictions on domestic violence misdemeanants.

#9. Rhode Island
Score: 
58.5
Grade: B+

Rhode Island may have comprehensive gun control measures overall, but it stilldoes not prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons.

#8. Illinois
Score: 
60
Grade: B+

In addition to requiring background checks, Illinois has instituted some design safety standards for handguns.

#7. Hawaii
Score: 
73.5
Grade: B+

In 2014, Hawaii had the lowest number of firearm-related deaths per 100K people. Gun regulation advocates have attributed this to its tight gun control measures.

#6. New York
Score: 
81
Grade: A-

New York enacted major gun control reforms in 2013, including an expansion of the assault weapons ban and requirements for ammunition dealers to conduct background checks.

#5. Massachusetts
Score: 
81.5
Grade: A-

Following the New York reforms, Massachusetts passed a comprehensive gun control bill in 2014 that increased firearm regulations.

#4. Maryland
Score: 
82
Grade: A-

Among Maryland's firearm regulations are a ban on the transfer of certain assault weapons and a mandatory seven-day waiting period prior to the physical transfer of a firearm.

#3. New Jersey
Score: 
86
Grade: A-

Republican Gov. Chris Christie may have shifted to the right on the issue of gun control, but his state still has some of the tightest firearm regulations in the country.

#2. Connecticut
Score: 
86.5
Grade: A-

Connecticut's extensive gun control laws require firearms dealers to obtain a license and mandate background checks for all firearm sales at gun shows.

#1. California
Score: 
93.5
Grade: A-

California takes the top spot as the state with the strictest gun control measures. Among the regulations in place are required background checks and limitations on the number of handguns an individual can purchase each month.

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