Newly released body camera footage shows the moment a police officer in Houston fatally shot Jalen Randle, a 29-year-old Black man, in the back of the neck last month.
The video, shared on Tuesday by attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Randle’s family, shows what happened after Randle was pulled over on April 27 after a chase for what cops said were three felony warrants.
In the 27-second clip, the officer, identified by police as Shane Privette, gets out of his vehicle and shouts, “He’s running! He’s running!” before he demands to see Randle’s hands.
Before he can finish saying “hands,” a shot rings out and the police officer yells, “Oh, shit!” As Privette continues to point his weapon, another officer handcuffs Randle as he lies face down on the ground. More footage from the scene posted to YouTube by the Houston Police Department shows officers performing first aid following the shooting.
Randle was shot in the back of the neck, attorneys for his family said, citing an independent autopsy. “The witnesses have said that he got out of the car and was running away. We believe the body cameras will all show it,” Crump said during a press conference earlier this month.
The released video doesn’t appear to show what direction Randle was moving in, but it does show that there wasn’t much time given to comply with the officer’s demand, something Crump noted on Tuesday.
“The release of this footage, while heartbreaking for the family of Jalen Randle, gives us a clearer picture of what happened to Jalen in his final moments,” Crump said in a statement.
“The brutality displayed in this video is extremely disturbing — from the officer firing 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.”
The shooting took place as Randle got out of a silver SUV, according to police. “At approximately 2:45 p.m., officers observed Mr. Randle get into the passenger seat of a silver vehicle,” Assistant Police Chief Thomas Hardin said in the video posted to YouTube. “Officers activated lights and sirens in an attempt to get the vehicle to stop.”
“The driver of the vehicle refused and a pursuit ensued. Officers performed a pursuit intervention technique, causing the vehicle to come to a stop. Mr. Randle exited the passenger side of the vehicle. He then reached back into the vehicle. An officer gave a verbal command to Mr. Randle to show his hands. The officer fired one shot, striking him. Officers began to render first aid on Mr. Randle.”
Hardin said Randle was holding a shoe and a bag that he dropped after being shot. They found a gun inside the bag.
The Harris County medical examiner’s office also listed Randle’s cause of death as a gunshot wound to the neck, but an official autopsy has not been released.
Privette, who was sworn in as an officer in 2014, is on administrative leave. He was indicted in 2019 by a grand jury for allegedly kneeing a drug suspect in the face, according to local ABC News affiliate KTRK. But the charges were thrown out and he was cleared.
The driver Randle was traveling with, who was also seen on the bodycam footage, was arrested peacefully and charged with fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer.
The release of the footage comes a day before the second anniversary of the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man whose neck was pinned to the ground by Officer Derek Chauvin for more than nine minutes, killing him.
“It is hard to believe that on the eve of the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, and from George's hometown of Houston, we are still begging the police to stop killing us,” Crump continued in his statement.
“We demand full justice for Jalen Randle and his family. This officer needs to be held accountable immediately.”
As with all Houston officer-involved shootings, the case is being investigated by the department’s Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County district attorney’s office.