Justice for Larry Jackson, Jr

Dear fellow faculty members and members of the UT community:

The national conversation about police violence that has followed in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, MO has important ramifications here in Austin, TX. As many of you know, in July of 2013, Larry Jackson, Jr. an unarmed African-American man, was shot and killed by Detective Charles Kleinert of the Austin Police Department. Because of the work of activists across the city, we were able to pressure the District Attorney’s office and ensure that Kleinert, unlike so many police officers across the country, was actually indicted.

That indictment is now in jeopardy. Kleinert’s lawyers are attempting to argue that his case should go to federal court rather than county court because at the time of the shooting Kleinert claims to have been working for federal law enforcement. If he succeeds in that claim, it is very likely that he will receive federal immunity and will not face any punishment for killing Larry Jackson, Jr. This is essentially an attempt to dial back the work that has happened here in Austin and reproduce the national pattern of getting police officers off on legal technicalities.

The People’s Task Force is calling for a day of action on March 3, 2015, the day that Kleinert’s petition to move his trial to federal court will be heard by Judge Lee Yeakel. We believe that organizing the largest possible protest will make a difference, not only in the case but also in deepening the attention on questions of race and law enforcement here in Austin. We will be gathering at 7pm outside the federal courthouse (501 W 5th St). It is likely that a decision will be released by that point in the day, but we still feel that it will be important to make sure that everyone in Austin knows and pays attention to what happens.

We are hoping to have as many faculty members as possible endorse this call to action as a way to help build support for Larry Jackson’s family and to make sure that justice is delivered to them. If you would like to endorse, please email Snehal Shingavi at snehal100@hotmail.com. There is also a petition to sign at: https://www.change.org/p/judge-lee-yeakel-don-t-let-detective-kleinert-get-away-with-murder

Thank you.

Current endorsers:

Brian Bremen, Department of English, UT Austin

Drea Brown, Graduate Student, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Charlotte Canning, Department of Theater and Dance, UT Austin

Mia Carter, Department of English, UT Austin

Gustavo Melo Cerqueira, Graduate Student, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Lyndon K. Gill, Department of African & African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology, UT Austin
Mark Anthony Gooden, Department of Educational Administration, UT Austin

Barbara Harlow, Department of English, UT Austin

Charles Holm, Graduate Student, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Juliet Hooker, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Heather Houser, Department of English, UT Austin

Xavier Livermon, Ph.D, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Lisa Moore, Department of English, UT Austin

Gretchen Murphy, Department of English, UT Austin

Carla Ramos, Graduate Student, African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Sharmila Rudrappa, Department of Sociology, UT Austin

Snehal Shingavi, Department of English, UT Austin

Eric Tang, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Kevin D. Thomas, Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

Joao Vargas, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin

Jennifer Wilks, Department of English, UT Austin

Helena Woodard, Department of English, UT Austin

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