Inspired by the recent killing of Larry Jackson, Jr. by an Austin, Texas Police officer, Austin’s own League Of Extraordinary Gz have released a track titled “APD”. The League, who’s popularity has been growing far beyond the boundaries of Austin, are using their platform to bring awareness to the recent shooting, which they and many others in the community feel was unjustified. The track will not be featured on their upcoming debut album #LeagueShit, but can be streamed now. Read the manifesto written by the League below for more information on the homicide of Larry Jackson, Jr. and the stance the rappers take on the issue:
“According to the Austin Chronicle, Austin Police officer Charles Kleinert was investigating a robbery at Benchmark Bank on July 26, 2013, when Larry Jackson Jr. approached the closed bank. Though Jackson was not a robbery suspect, he misidentified himself to the bank manager outside before talking with Kleinert for a few minutes. Then Jackson fled. Kleinert commandeered a civilian’s vehicle and instructed him to follow the non-suspect until he found him walking along the sidewalk.
Finally, Kleinert jumped out of the car and scuffled with Jackson under a bridge before fatally shooting him through the back of the neck that afternoon.
According to APD’s foot pursuit policy, mere “flight by a subject who is not suspected of criminal activity shall not serve as the sole justification for engaging in a foot pursuit without the development of reasonable suspicion regarding the individual’s involvement in criminal activity.”
Officers should “consider alternatives to engaging in or continuing a foot pursuit” under a number of specific circumstances, including when “the officer is acting alone” or when the fleeing person enters a “wooded or otherwise isolated area and there are insufficient officers to provide backup and containment.”
By Monday, August 5, City Manager Marc Ott requested that the Department of Justice investigate Austin Police, to determine if their “tactics and practices” are consistent with department policies and with national best practices, the Chronicle reported. “The Texas Civil Rights Project and Austin NAACP… first requested the DOJ investigate APD’s use of force back in 2004.”
By August 6, APD’s killing of Larry Jackson, Jr. was listed as justifiable homicide – without a list of justifications – in the custodial death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. The stated cause of death was “accidental injury, intoxication, suicide or homicide.”
The Larry Jackson, Jr. incident is eerily reminiscent of when APD killed Jessie Lee Owens Jr. (2003), Daniel Rocha (2005), Kevin Brown (2007), Nathaniel Sanders II (2009), Byron Carter (2011) and several more.
We want to know what happened. We want to know it wasn’t an abuse of power with no accountability to follow. We want APD officer Kleinert held accountable for what he did. We want Austin and APD to know that we are not happy with the way that they handle these things. We are committed to seeing the systematic and legal justifications for this trend change. We want transparency and justice for these Austinites.
Do you agree?”
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