Autopsy Shows Officer’s Gun Muzzle Left Impression On Victim’s Neck
An autopsy report shows the imprint of a gun muzzle left on the back of the neck of a man shot and killed by Austin police last year, reports KVUE.
On July 26, 2013, Austin police detective Charles Kleinert shot and killed Larry Jackson after Jackson bolted from outside of a bank where Kleinert was investigating a robbery that had occurred earlier in the day.
Kleinert went to great lengths in his pursuit of Jackson, hitching a ride with a motorist while Jackson fled on foot. Kleinert caught up to Jackson and a scuffle ensued under a nearby bridge.
There, Kleinert says he accidentally fired his weapon, hitting Jackson in the back of the neck and killing him.
The autopsy report, which is still confidential but was obtained by the Austin American-Statesman and the KVUE Defenders, shows that Jackson suffered a “Gunshot wound to the back of the neck with muzzle imprint and gunpowder soot.”
The autopsy also shows Jackson suffered two fractured ribs and an overlaying contusion, though the report did not make clear whether those injuries were a result of the struggle with Kleinert.
“I think that this detective was in a state of blind rage,” the Jackson family attorney, Adam Loewy, told KVUE. The family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin and Kleinert for what they say is excessive police force.
“I think he was very angry that Larry had ran and that he literally tracked him down… attacked him, and shot him in the back of the head,” said Loewy.
An attorney for Kleinert — who was indicted last week by a grand jury and awaits a trial for manslaughter — says that the autopsy report merely shows that the two were locked in a struggle.
“There is nothing in this autopsy report that is inconsistent with what actually happened,” Kleinert’s attorney Randy Leavitt told KVUE. “The gun went off while Jackson was struggling with Detective Kleinert as he was attempting to make a lawful arrest.”
The Austin police department’s internal investigation into the shooting found Kleinert failed to practice proper procedures.
“Your actions weren’t objectively reasonable,” reads the report, according to KVUE. The investigation also found that Kleinert’s handling and display of his firearm “did not comply with policy”.
Kleinert retired from the Austin police department several months after the shooting.
Follow Chuck on Twitter