An independent autopsy report concluded that Jalen Randle, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back of the neck when he was killed by a Houston police officer late last month, lawyers for the man’s family said on Wednesday.
According to the findings presented by civil-rights attorney Benjamin Crump at a press conference in the city, two of Randle’s vertebrae were fractured by the bullet when he was killed on April 27. The attorney demanded police release body-cam footage of the fatal incident.
“The facts are the facts. Jaylen Randle was shot from behind. And we have scientific proof today,” said Crump.
A spokesperson for the Houston police department confirmed the shooting remained under investigation but did not comment further beyond indicating body-cam footage would be released within 30 days of the incident.
As The Daily Beast reported last week, police said the young Houstonite was shot dead by Officer Shane Privette as Randle exited a vehicle that had been stopped by a police narcotics team attempting to arrest him for outstanding warrants.
Randle had no weapon in his hands, but police said they found a gun in a bag he had on his person following the killing.
At the press conference announcing the autopsy results Wednesday, Randle’s five-year-old daughter, wearing a pink hairbow, stood beside the podium at 5th Ward Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. She was held by her grieving grandmother and surrounded by family and supporters.
The family demanded immediate transparency from police. Some wore white t-shirts with a red hashtag reading #JUSTICEFORJALEN.
Crump called on the Houston Police Department to release body-cam footage of the incident by May 25, the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Floyd grew up in Houston.
“Release the video. We’re not asking anything extraordinary. We’re asking for simple justice,” said Crump.
At the press conference, questions also continued to swirl about the history of the officer who took part in the shooting. The Daily Beast previously reported that Privette was charged with aggravated assault by a public servant five years ago in an episode that left a man with a battered face—before a grand jury dropped the charges.
Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers Union who said he was speaking on behalf of Privette, told The Daily Beast Wednesday that Randle “reached back into that car and pulled out something black, which ended up being a bag with a gun, and then the officers feared for their life. "
Meanwhile, Randle’s mother, Tiffany Rachal, pleaded with the public for support.
“It was unjustified. There’s nothing y’all can say to me, there’s nothing that you can do, because you can’t bring him back and you cannot go back and do it all over again. It has been done. And I want justice for my child,” she said.