The Austin Chronicle

Kleinert Hearing Postponed: Jackson's Sister Reacts

By Amy Kamp, October 10, 2014, News

Last week, the pretrial hearing for former Austin Police Department Detective Charles Kleinert was rescheduled for the fourth time – pushed back from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12. Kleinert was indicted for manslaughter in May, after he shot Larry Jackson Jr. in the back of the neck on July 26, 2013.

On that day, Kleinert had been called to investigate the robbery of a bank. After Jackson twice tried to open the front door of the bank, which was locked, the bank's manager told the detective that Jackson had misidentified himself; when Kleinert confronted him, Jackson ran. Although Jackson was not accused of robbing the bank, Kleinert pursued him, at one point commandeering a car to continue the chase, which ended in Jackson's death. He was unarmed.

Jackson's older sister, LaKiza, hopes that Kleinert's case will go to trial and would like to see a date set. She has repeatedly called for justice for Jackson, her only sibling. For her and the rest of Jackson's family, the shock and pain of his death is still fresh. "We miss him tremendously," she says. "People say with time the pain will lessen. For us that hasn't happened." Over the past year, Jackson's family has struggled to deal with the loss of a loving and attentive son, father, brother, and uncle; a man who "wouldn't let you have a bad day," according to his niece. "It has aged my mother, and it's changed me into a person I don't even know," claims LaKiza. She's frustrated that after her brother was killed, his criminal record and the results of a drug test performed during his autopsy were publicized, seemingly as justification for Kleinert's actions. "They always criminalize the victim and glorify the cops," she argues. "Is going to the bank a capital offense?"

LaKiza believes a trial of Kleinert (who resigned from APD) would offer Jackson's family their best shot at justice: "Kleinert needs to be in prison." She sees her brother's death as part of a pattern of killings of unarmed minorities, and thinks a conviction would set an example. "Black and brown people shouldn't have to fear for their lives every time they walk out the door. ... Their lives matter."

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