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30 Jul
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Press Release: Police Accountability and Civil Rights Groups Respond to APD Press Conference on the Killing of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

Press Release: Police Accountability and Civil Rights Groups Respond to APD Press Conference on the Killing of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

July 30th, 2013

Austin, TX – The media is invited to join the Austin Police Accountability Coalition and the Peaceful Streets Project in front of Austin City Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday July 30th where we will issue a response to the Austin Police Department’s (Monday) press conference regarding the shooting death of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. by Detective Charles Kleinert.

On Friday, July 26th, Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr., a black man, walked to the Benchmark Bank and tried to gain entry several hours after that bank had been robbed by a “tall and heavy set white man.” Despite having not committed any crime, and not being told he was being detained under suspicion of committing any crime, when Jackson decided to leave, Kleinert decided to follow him, despite policy dictating otherwise.

Allegedly, Jackson ran – although a witness said he saw him “merely walking” along the sidewalk. Kleinert, instead of pursuing on foot (and why he felt he needed to is in question), commandeered a vehicle driven by a motorist that was sitting in a parking lot near the bank. The witness said Kleinert was “out of control” and did not identify himself before frantically ordering the confused motorist to drive him around. “The motorist implored Kleinert to calm down and explain what was happening, the source said,” but Kleinert merely yelled, “Go! Go! Go!” When Kleinert identified Jackson, “who the source said was merely walking along the sidewalk,” Kleinert yelled “there he is!” before jumping out of the car to chase after Jackson. The shaken motorist quickly left and called 911 to report what they must have thought was a crime in progress – perpetrated by the “police officer.”

Underneath the bridge, Assistant Police Chief Brian Manley claims a scuffle ensued. Jackson ended up dead, shot once in the back of the neck by Detective Kleinert. Manley also implied the shooting may have been accidental, as if they don’t know yet whether it was. Possible? If APD didn’t issue a “hearing” on Friday following the shooting, then Kleinert may not have had to tell APD his side of the story yet. According to the City’s Meet & Confer contract with the Austin Police Association (just renewed, as it is done every five years), officers have 48 hours in which they don’t have to talk about any use of force incident – triggered by APD calling a hearing for the investigation. He may not have talked to them yet if they failed to issue the notice, and has even more time to create a tale to cover up his policy infractions based on some serious mistakes he made in assessing a public safety threat and resolving conflict as he was trained.

Debbie Russell of the Austin Police Accountability Coalition: “I didn’t think there could be a worse tale of APD misconduct and cover up after the shooting of Nathaniel Sanders, II (someone asleep in a car with no gun in hand and only awake for 4 seconds before shot in the back of the head)…then I didn’t think anything could top the unjust killing of Byron Carter, Jr. (a passenger in a vehicle not having committed any crime attempting to flee armed men not identifying themselves as police-also shot in the back of the head). But this is beyond the pale! An unarmed black man chased down and killed based on what one officer believed he might do, sometime in the future.”

Antonio Buehler of the Peaceful Streets Project: “It is remarkable that every time an APD officer commits a felony crime, that APD comes out and blames the victim of police violence. Cops know that pedestrians have a right to walk (or run) away from police if they are not being legally detained, so APD’s claim that it is “not a good idea to run from police” is nothing more than a diversion tactic to take the focus off of the killer cop and apply it to the deceased. Further, APD has a history of slandering the dead to protect their cops. APD suggesting that Jackson was at the bank to “defraud” them suggests that APD has prophetic wisdom into the future actions of the people they kill.”


Nelson Linder of the NAACP-Austin: “This needs to be an issue among our government. They can’t be silent while these types of shootings continue in our city,” Linder said. “It is too rampant, it’s too racial and these type so things happen too often. These are senseless shootings we know for a fact need to stop.”

Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project: “We cannot tolerate this constant use of deadly force. People should not have to fear for their lives when they are in a parking lot, stopped for a traffic offense, or go to the bank.”

27 Jun
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Press Release: Wayne Vincent of the Austin Police Association Issues a Veiled Threat Against Antonio Buehler & Peaceful Streets Project

During a recent interview with the local Fox affiliate, KTBC, Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent issued what appeared to be a threat of violence against Antonio Buehler and the Peaceful Streets Project. This threat comes on the heels of the Peaceful Streets Project’s public announcement that they would increase downtown patrols to record Officer Nathan Wagner while on duty. Wagner is the APD cop that shot and killed Byron Carter in 2011.

“We fully are afraid that this thing is going to turn violent before it’s over because Buehler keeps escalating the harassment. Our officers are out there with absolutely no relief from this kind of harassment and it’s not going to end well,” Vincent said.

What Vincent calls harassment is actually the legal and Constitutionally protected right to film public servants while on duty. Vincent’s suggestion that violence may stem from Buehler and other members of the Peaceful Streets Project exercising their rights is troubling.

The Peaceful Streets Project has made non-violence a central tenet of their mission. No member of the Peaceful Streets Project has ever engaged in violence while cop watching, nor has any member ever threatened violence toward any member of law enforcement. Further, the Austin Police Department is fully aware that all Peaceful Streets Project cop watch events prohibit volunteers from carrying personal weapons.

The only violence that would ever result from Peaceful Streets Project cop watches would come from the armed members of the Austin Police Department. In fact, members of the Peaceful Streets Project have already been assaulted by APD officers and their horses, downtown.

The Peaceful Streets Project has videotaped cops hundreds of times, most of which resulted in no interactions between Peaceful Streets and APD. Interactions between APD and Peaceful Streets most often occur once APD starts issuing arbitrary orders, shining flashlights at cameras, physically threatening or issuing threats of arrest to prevent cop watchers from videotaping. Sometimes, the Peaceful Streets Project will ask APD officers for a statement after an incident has concluded.

The Peaceful Streets Project stands for accountability through non-violent, non-partisan, direct action tactics. We reject all forms of violence and coercion; those are the tools of the Austin Police Department. The violence that Wayne Vincent speaks of will only be realized by the members of his union, with the victims being unarmed activists who stand against the corrupt and violent cops that are endemic to the Austin Police Department.

We call on Wayne Vincent to clarify his statement as to who he believes will engage in violence, and then retract his threat and replace it with a statement of non-violence. We also encourage Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo to denounce Vincent’s threat of violence against Peaceful Streets Project activists.

Finally, the Peaceful Streets Project invites the community to attend a workshop on non-violent activism that will be held during a breakout session at our Second Annual Police Accountability Summit on August 17th at Huston-Tillotson University.

Peaceful Streets Project Mission: Through community organizing, engaging in non-political and non-violent direct action tactics, and utilizing new technologies, the Peaceful Streets Project seeks to bring about a cultural shift where individuals understand their rights and hold law enforcement officials accountable, and communities protect and serve each other.