Grand jury hears Larry Jackson family

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sitting and talking before a grand jury was nerve-racking for Larry Mercer.

But it is also exactly what he and his family had been waiting for.

“We just want justice for our son,” said Mercer.

It has been 8 months since his son, Larry Jackson, was shot in the back of the head after a chase and struggle with now retired Austin police detective Charles Kleinert.

“I miss his smile and the hugs he would give me,” said Mercer. “That is a lot to miss.”

Jackson’s family says they have not received any answers from the police department on why or how he died and can’t help but think Kleinert’s position has played a part.

“Had it been me or you or an everyday person, we would have not seen the light of day,” said Mercer.

Many of the details surrounding the shooting have remained cloaked in confidentiality, but Jackson’s family testified Friday before a grand jury which could choose to indict Kleinert and charge him with Jackson’s death.

Over the past several years, grand juries have had the opportunity to indict APD officers involved in shootings but “no-billed” the officer each time. Attorney Adam Loewy was involved in many of those cases and believes this case is different.

“We expect there to be an indictment here,” said Loewy, who is representing the Jackson family.

Unlike previous cases, self-defense is not being used as justification for the shooting and Loewy believes other possible justifications will fall short.

“Kleinert is not saying it was self-defense, he is saying it was accidental,” said Loewy. “This was intentional. He tracked him down and shot him in the back of the head.’

The grand jury is expected to return a decision in the next week or two. They have already heard from Jackson’s family and will also hear testimony from Kleinert and others to help them determine if the shooting was justified or one that should be prosecuted criminally.

Jackson’s family could not talk about their testimony publicly, but Mercer hopes it ultimately leads to Kleinert facing the same justice any other citizen would receive.

“We hope he gets some jail time.”

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