Dozens gathered inside the city council chambers Monday evening, calling on the Police Monitor's Citizen Review Panel to fire veteran Detective Charles Kleinert with the Austin Police Department.
Kleinert shot 32-year-old Larry Jackson Jr. in the back of the neck after a controversial chase in Central Austin on July 26.
"When you shoot someone in the back of the head who is unarmed and who is not posing a threat, that is a criminal act," Jackson family attorney Adam Loewy said.
Austin police have released few details of the incident. They said Jackson walked up to the Benchmark Bank on 35th Street where there was a robbery earlier in the day. Det. Charles Kleinert, who was there investigating the robbery, briefly spoke with Jackson outside the bank before Jackson took off running.
Police say Kleinert chased Jackson, even commandeering a civilian’s car in the effort, before he spotted Jackson walking on the sidewalk near 34th Street. Police said Kleinert chased Jackson on foot into a park along Shoal Creek where Jackson was shot and killed.
Police say the shooting was an accident.
"You don't accidentally unhook the safety part of your gun that prevents it from firing accidentally,” attorney Bobby Taylor said. “You don't accidentally point it at somebody and point it behind their head and accidentally fire it."
Jackson was not armed at the time.
"Larry Jackson did not have weapon. He did not have a gun. He did not have a knife," Loewy said.
The Citizen Review Panel is now reviewing APD's completed internal investigation for this case. The panel is expected to send a discipline recommendation to Police Chief Art Acevedo as early as next week.
Following the Jackson shooting, the City of Austin asked the Justice Department to review APD's use of force policies.
The justice department declined the request, telling the city that Austin police already have safeguards in place to ensure a fair and thorough investigation.