The Crimes, Corruption, and Racially-Charged Murders of the Austin Police Department

My friend “Shaggy” has some new commentary at his Para-Political Journal website:

The Crimes, Corruption, and Racially-Charged Murders of the Austin Police Department

The United States of America has increasingly become what can be accurately described as a “police state” over the past several years, particularly since 9/11 emboldened the government to eviscerate civil liberties in the dubious name of fighting terror. Of course, metropolitan police forces across America have followed the national lead of the Nazi-like Homeland Security Department, NSA, FBI, CIA, and gestapo tactics of the TSA to fully beef up and militarize their respective forces into small para-military armies in their own right. These fully militarized police units modeled after SWAT are then foisted on a largely innocent public, where the assumption of criminality is considered the norm, rampant theft through ticketing over the most minor of non-offenses are ubiquitous, and ever increasing numbers of mostly poor black and brown people find themselves under siege from what they rightly see as an occupying gang or army of police thugs using the drug war as a pretext to arrest, imprison, beat up, and even kill those that get in their way. The irony in this scenario is that where once cops were thought to be helpful protectors of innocent citizenry against violent crime…now they are just as likely to be the cause of violence against an innocent citizenry under the guise of “the law” of course.

This issue is far too broad and vast to fully address in one little blog post. So, I’m going to narrow it down considerably and merely address one tiny sliver of this problem that I’ve come to see in my own city of Austin, Texas. I feel that what’s happening in Austin right now is perhaps akin to a microcosm of what’s happening across the country to a greater or lesser degree of severity. After all, Austin (unlike the rest of the state of Texas) prides itself on its “liberal” attitudes and is considered one of the “most liveable” cities in America. It is certainly one of the fastest growing cities, with a vibrant arts community, an extensive night life with 6th Street at the hub, the largest university in the country with UT, and a very diverse and ethnically-mixed population occupying various rungs on the economic ladder. The issue at hand and under present analysis is: “Is the Austin Police Department (APD) Guilty of Racially-Motivated Murder and the Coverup Thereof?” Recently, around the day of my last article, Detective Charles Kleinart shot and killed Larry Jackson Jr. ostensibly for the heinous crime of having a “fake I.D.” and “running away from an interrogation”.

Detective Charles Kleinert was busy investigating the scene of an earlier bank robbery that had taken place at Benchmark Bank, when the bank manager notified him of Jackson who had previously attempted to gain entrance to the bank. After a few minutes or so of speaking with Kleinert, Jackson took off running and was promptly chased after. Detective Kleinert commandeered someone’s personal car in the parking lot and agitatedly ordered them to give pursuit eventually catching up with Jackson, who was by this time walking leisurely along the street. A scuffle ensued, and Jackson was shot in the back of the neck. While it will be at least a month or longer before we learn anything else about this case, it is at least reasonable to ask a few pertinent questions that should come up later in the Internal Affairs and Citizen’s Review Panel investigations. Questions such as: “Given that surveillance video of the robbery shows that it was a white man that committed the crime, did Kleinert really think that a black man, Larry Jackson Jr., had anything to do with it? Also, why did Detective Kleinert give chase when APD policy would likely have precluded him from doing so, absent any relevant danger or extenuating circumstances?” Clearly, Larry Jackson Jr. was little more than a nuisance to the bank’s management and at most a two-bit con artist trying to pass off a fake I.D. or somebody’s ATM card as legit. So, “why not pick him up later on, especially since his face was captured by the video surveillance cameras?” Recently, Marc Ott (Austin’s City Manager) has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether APD’s “tactics and practices” are consistent with departmental procedures and best national practices. This request comes on the heels of Jim Harrington’s Texas Civil Rights Project and the Austin NAACP, who had previously requested the DOJ investigate the APD back in 2004. You can now read the Custodial Death Report  of Larry Jackson Jr. out of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot’s office.


The Crimes, Corruption, and Racially-Charged Murders of the Austin Police Department | Para-Political Journal.

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