AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Larry Jackson Jr. story continues after charges against Charles Kleinert were dismissed on Thursday.
On Sunday, protesters rallied outside of the federal courthouse in downtown Austin against U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling, dismissing the state’s manslaughter indictment against former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert.
“We’re coming here today to bring notice to the City of Austin that we’re displeased with the actions of the judge and this whole system and we’d like something to be done about it,” said Larry Mercer, the father of Larry Jackson Jr.
Though he was an APD detective at the time, Kleinert was also a member of a federal task and was investigating a bank robbery, a federal crime. Kleinert shot and killed Jackson Jr. in July of 2013 after Jackson Jr. appeared at the scene of a bank robbery in Central Austin. Jackson Jr. fled the scene as Kleinert questioned him, prompting the veteran police officer to chase Jackson Jr. who was shot during a struggle.
“It’s not justice. It’s an excuse to let Kleinert to get away with murder,” said Mercer at the rally.
Although the state indictment is dismissed and Kleinert has been granted immunity when it comes to state prosecution, the possibility for federal prosecution still exists. Adam Loewy, the Jackson family attorney in the civil case, tells KXAN News a federal case against Kleinert is unlikely.
The decision from Judge Yeakel is subject to an appeal, but as of right now, it appears Kleinert will avoid criminal prosecution. Kleinert’s attorney Randy Leavitt said his client was feeling mixed emotions of relief and excitement following the ruling.
On Monday morning, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said she plans on appealing the case to a higher court. After the ruling on Thursday, Lehmberg said in a statement, “I am totally dismayed by today’s federal court action dismissing the Charles Kleinert prosecution.”