The actions of Detective Charles “Trey” Kleinert — who on Monday became the first Austin police officer to be indicted for an on-duty shooting in more than a decade — drew questions from the start.
Why did he chase a man suspected of a forgery attempt at a Central Austin bank? Did he depart from police procedure in using a resident’s car during that pursuit? And what happened under a bridge — out of view of witnesses — that led to the fatal shooting of Larry Eugene Jackson Jr., an action Kleinert later said was accidental?
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Police shooting timeline
July 26, 2013: About 4 p.m., according to police, Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. arrives at the Benchmark Bank at 1508 West 35th St., which had been robbed that morning, and tries to open the bank’s locked front door. Jackson walks away but returns a minute later and tries to open the door again, drawing the attention of the bank manager. After speaking to Jackson, the manager tell police Detective Charles Kleinert that Jackson had attempted to use the name of a bank customer who employees knew wasn’t Jackson. Kleinert tries to question Jackson, who flees. Kleinert chases after Jackson and gets a ride from a passing driver in an effort to find him. Kleinert and Jackson then get into a struggle under a nearby bridge, where Jackson is fatally shot in the back of the neck.
Aug. 1: Kleinert tells internal affairs investigators that he unintentionally fired the shot that killed Jackson, several sources tell the American-Statesman. Kleinert told investigators his weapon was drawn as part of his effort to subdue Jackson when he lost his balance and fell over, sources say.
Sept. 17: Jackson’s parents file a wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Kleinert and the city of Austin. The suit alleges that the detective used racial profiling to focus on Jackson and that Kleinert violated police pursuit policies and used unnecessary force.
Oct. 22: Kleinert retires from the police force. The decision prohibits the city from releasing the internal affairs file related to the shooting and any disciplinary action recommended by a citizen panel that reviews deadly use of force cases. The Police Department closes its internal inquiry.
Feb. 13: The Austin City Council withdraws a motion to approve a proposed monetary settlement for Jackson’s three children, saying it will wait until after a grand jury decides whether Kleinert should face criminal charges.
May 12: A grand jury indicts Kleinert on a manslaughter charge.