Recently released video shows an officer from the Houston Police Department fatally shooting a Black man, moments after he was pulled over for several warrants. Footage shows the cop’s split-second decision to shoot, a deadly act one lawyer believes was done prematurely.
On Tuesday, May 24, civil rights attorney Ben Crump released the 27-second bodycam video of the April 27 police-involved killing of Jalen Javon Randle on his Twitter. He argues the officer, identified as Shane Privette, exhausted his firearm before his client’s family member could yield to a command to comply.
He asserts, and the video supports, the command to comply was being given at the same time Privette was firing his weapon and called the footage “heartbreaking.”
In a press release, he states, “This footage, while heartbreaking for the family of Jalen Randle, gives us a clearer picture of what happened to Jalen in his final moments.”
The timeline of the altercation, as played out through the clip, has Privette shouting as he exits his patrol vehicle on 8700 Josie Street, “He’s running! He’s running!”
He then attempts to tell Randle to show him his hands but shoots before uttering the word “hands.” He blasts, hitting the back of Randle’s neck, and watches him fall, before yelling as if surprised, “oh, sh-t!”
In a 10:32 minute compilation video of the incident released by the HPD, Assistant Chief Hardin said his office is providing this critical incident briefing, ahead of a completed investigation, to share with the public evidence related to the incident where Randle’s life was lost at the hands of a police officer.
“This critical incident briefing is intended to provide you with information about an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Houston on April 27th, 2022,” he said.
He assured the public his department will conduct a thorough investigation into the officer involved in the shooting, stating this is a common practice for them.
“These typically require investigators to interview multiple witnesses, view numerous hours of video footage, and analyze a significant amount of forensic evidence,” Hardin stated before advising the public that officials are “in the very early stages of the investigation” and warning the viewers of the very “graphic” nature while admitting watching the shooting will be “difficult.”
On the day of the killing, police were looking for Randle because he had three outstanding felony warrants. The cops on assignment saw the suspect enter the passenger side of a silver vehicle around 2:45 pm.
When the SUV pulled off, the officers followed in pursuit — activating their lights and sirens in an attempt to get the SUV to pull over. However, the driver did not and was later arrested for his participation in the incident.
Officers used a “pursuit intervention technique” to make the vehicle stop and at that time, Randle jumped out of the vehicle with a zipped bag in one hand and was postured to flee. The video appears to show him getting shot before he could run, aligning with the police’s report.
Police maintain they saw him reach into the vehicle and that is when they told him to show his hands before shooting. However, the video does not align with that part of the official police report.
Hardin says the officers attempted to provide medical attention to Randle, before taking him to the hospital where he was declared dead. The video shows them first cuffing him after the shot, despite him not moving or responding. Aid is not provided until almost a minute later.
It also captures one officer checking in and asking if the shooting officer was “good.”
Crump says in a post, that he was shot without officers “giving Jalen NO time to comply before killing him! Police then HANDCUFFED, searched, & dragged him across the ground to deliver aid.”
As a part of that search, Hardin said, officers discovered the bag that dropped from Randle’s hand after being fatally shot by Privette had a gun in it.
The video shows the officer never lowering his weapon as he approached Randle down on the ground. Other officers continue to speak about Randle as if he were moving, saying they are taking the suspect into custody now.
While cuffed and unresponsive, the officers are instructed to “drag” him. They pull him across the grass and concrete, sitting him in his own blood. It is not until this occurs, 45 seconds in, that one officer is told to get his medical out and anyone asks, “where was he hit?”
Crump said, “The brutality displayed in this video is extremely disturbing— from the officer during a deadly shot seemingly as he ordered Jalen to put his hands up to the way they handcuffed and dragged his lifeless body across the ground … this officer needs to be held accountable immediately.”
This is not the first time this particular officer has been associated with using brutal or excessive force on the job.
KTRK reported in 2019, Privette, who is currently on administrative leave, was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly kneeing a drug suspect in the face. He was later cleared of those charges.
The death of Jalen Randle is being investigated by Houston’s department of Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division, and the Harris County district attorney’s office.