Houston Police Chief Troy Finner called attorney Ben Crump’s assertion about the fatal shot to the neck of 29-year-old Jalen Randle “a false statement.”
According to The Houston Chronicle, Crump, who represents Randle’s family, had an independent autopsy done on the slain man’s corpse by Autopsy and Pathology Services, PA, which claims that a police officer’s bullet entered Randle’s neck from the back and left no exit wound. However, Finner claimed that other preliminary autopsy results showed the man was shot in the front of the neck.
“We respect and understand emotions and pain that families who have lost loved ones go through during these investigations. Having said that, the family’s attorney, Mr. Ben Crump, whom I respect as an advocate for justice, is claiming Mr. Randle was shot in the back of the neck or head. That is a false statement. To publicly make such a false claim is irresponsible,” Finner said, per The Chronicle.
According to the newspaper, portions of the official Randle autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences revealed that he died of a gunshot wound to his neck, but a point of entry is not specified in the documents made public. The full autopsy hasn’t been released yet.
Crump, in his response, dismissed Finner’s claims.
“The Randle family, in the wake of burying Jalen, is now facing the compounded pain of the Houston Police Chief by attempting to discredit legitimate evidence that Jalen was shot in the back of his neck,” said the activist attorney. “We have four sources of evidence, including the independent autopsy, the officer’s body camera video, statements made shortly after Jalen’s death by emergency room medical professionals, and statements made by funeral home directors that all conclude Jalen was shot in the back of his neck .”
Jalen Randle’s grieving father, Warren Randle, told The Chronicle, “They’re saying he was shot in the front, but they’re not showing evidence to back up that statement. And it shouldn’t even matter where he was shot, because they shot an unarmed man. Are they trying to say it was justified because he was shot in the front?”
As previously reported by theGrio, Randle was killed by Houston Police Officer Shane Privette in April after a brief car chase. Supporters of the slain man gathered outside the office of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg Monday and urged her to charge Privette with murder.
While meeting with Randle’s family, Ogg explained the process for how her office handles police shootings, noting its Civil Rights Division is reviewing evidence from HPD’s internal investigation, with plans to present its findings to a grand jury that will decide whether or not to indict the officers. It could take anywhere from six months to a year.
“Anytime you’ve lost a child, the trauma is profound, and so much of the meeting is letting them simply express their grief, their frustration with our system and police department and city government, and so I listen,” Ogg said. “And then we try to convey information that will let them know what’s going to happen, not as a result of, but through the process.”
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