Who is Shane Privette? Houston cop guns down Black suspect Jalen Randle in DISTURBING footage

Shane Privette was previously indicted by a grand jury for allegedly kneeling on a drug suspect's face during an arrest in 2017


                            Who is Shane Privette? Houston cop guns down Black suspect Jalen Randle in DISTURBING footage
Shane Privette (L) shot Jalen Randle (R) dead in chilling clip (C) (Houston PD, @AttorneyCrump/Twitter, Jalen Randle/Facebook)
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Warning: Graphic content

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Shocking body camera footage has captured the moment a White Houston police officer gunned down a Black suspect after a car chase on April 27. The video was released by the Houston Police Department this week. In the video, Narcotics Officer Shane Privette can be seen getting out of his patrol car after his partner reports that the suspect is running.

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Privette yells at the suspect, 29-year-old Jalen Randle: "Let me see your hands". As he spills out the last word of his command, however, a gunshot is heard and Randle collapses. He drops a bag and a sandal as he falls to the ground. Privette immediately says "oh sh**" and runs over to look at Randle, who is lying face-down on the ground.

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Another officer, Mansker, then handcuffs Randle, asking Privette if Randle had a gun. Privette seems not to respond, but a handgun was later found zipped inside of the bag Randle was carrying. When Privette shot him, however, the gun was not visible. 

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Privette was seen dragging Randle's body onto the sidewalk, asking "Where is he hit?" "In the neck or something," Mansker replied. The officers tried to stop the bleeding from his neck, with one of them saying, "keep breathing, bud." Randle was pronounced dead at Ben Taub Hospital. An independent autopsy commissioned by his family found that he was shot in the back of his head. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences claimed that Randle died of a gunshot wound to the neck, the Daily Mail reported. 

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According to Houston police, they were trying to arrest Randle on three felony warrants for aggravated assault of a family member and evading arrest. Randle reportedly got into the passenger seat of a silver SUV and police began to follow the car. At one point, the driver, Elvin Robertson, 32, allegedly made a traffic violation. 

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Robertson allegedly refused to stop for about half a mile as an officer attempted to pull the vehicle over. When he reached the 8700 block of Josie Street, the vehicle was pinned in a PIT maneuver. Robertson was subsequently arrested and was charged with a misdemeanor evading arrest charge. According to his lawyer, Sam Milledge II, Robertson was not aware that authorities were seeking Randle. When police tried to pull him over, Robertson tried to drive to a nearby relative's house to seek safety, the lawyer said. 

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Who is Shane Privette?

Privette was previously indicted by a grand jury for allegedly kneeling on a drug suspect's face during an arrest in 2017. In 2019, he was charged for aggravated assault in the case. However, three months later, he was absolved of any wrongdoing by a second grand jury, which cited new, unspecified evidence.

At the time, then-Police Chief Art Acevedo said that an internal probe cleared Privette of the excessive force allegation. Privette is on administrative leave at present, pending the investigation's outcome. The Harris County District Attorney's Office confirmed that the case will be brought to a grand jury.

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Coming back to Randle's case, police have claimed that when Privette shot Randle, he was fleeing the scene and was reaching back into the vehicle. Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officer's Union, believes the shooting was justified. "I think it was completely justified with the fact that we are looking at an armed suspect," he told ABC 13. "He's got multiple felonies for aggravated offenses, and then on top of that he's got two objects - one in each hand, that are both black, and as he turns, the officers can't wait to find out if that's a gun or not."

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"We've got units behind him in a chase and we have officers stopping and getting out in front of him, he obviously knew what the deal was. All he had to do was comply," Griffith added. "Sadly, it was a horrible outcome and I feel for the family. But again, had he just complied, we would not be in this situation right now."

Randle's family, however, said that he did not get any time to react. "In a matter of seconds, as soon as he got out of the car, he was shot," his father said. "He's never got a chance to even hear commands." He added, "He'll never get to go to his daughter's graduation from pre-school. It's terrible."

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In a statement to KHOU, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing his family, said, "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. We demand full justice for Jalen Randle and his family. This officer needs to be held accountable immediately."

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This incident is a chilling reminder of the murder of George Floyd, which had triggered protests worldwide. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was murdered near the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Derek Chauvin, who was then a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, was found guilty of the crime. 

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