AUSTIN -- An East Austin town hall meeting at the George Washington Carver Museum Thursday night started with a prayer, but as soon as Police Chief Art Acevedo took the stage emotions started boiling over.
The meeting addressed an officer-involved shooting on July 26 that ended in the death of 32-year-old Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.
APD detective and 19-year veteran Charles Kleinert chased Jackson after he suspected him of planning to commit bank fraud. After an alleged struggle, he shot Jackson in the back of the neck.
Kleinert later admitted that the gun went off accidentally. Now there is a criminal investigation through the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, an internal investigation within APD and a Department of Justice investigation underway.
But the crowd Thursday night demanded more and Chief Acevedo pledged to get to the truth of what happened the day Jackson was killed.
“It’s going to be the good, the bad and the ugly of what the officer did. If there's something good, bad, or ugly that your son did, that we have evidence of, we're going to provide for you as well,” he said to Jackson’s parents, who were in attendance.
Before the meeting town hall organizer Anthony Walker told KVUE his goal was to stop what he called “unnecessary lethal force” from happening again.
“We don't want it to be next year, the following year and the year after talking about this,” said Walker.
Walker also said there needs to be more awareness in the community.
“We need to educate the guys in the community that under no circumstances don't evade arrest, don't run from the police, no matter what situation you're facing."
In front of a crowd of several hundred Chief Acevedo echoed that sentiment.
“Please don't run because mistakes happen."
However several people replied that it was Jackson’s constitutional right to run since he was not under arrest.
“It's not summertime until one of our black males or Hispanic males is gunned down like a dog. Dogs in Austin get more respect than our young black males,” said Kristina DeWitty.
There were calls for the chief to resign and for the officer who shot Jackson to be fired, but in the end Walker says they just want honesty.
“We are willing to forgive if they are willing to acknowledge that a mistake was made. And then we can look for answers how we can avoid those mistakes from happening again.”
The lawyer for Jackson’s family, Adam Loewy, told the crowd he wants a public criminal trial.
Chief Acevedo promised to share the findings of their investigation, which is expected to take approximately 45 days.