Houston Cop Who Executed Unarmed Jordan Baker Cleared of All Charges

Seriously, we have to stop meeting so very often over this issue. This all must stop: murders of unarmed black and other citizens, failure to indict or charge…all of it.)

This shit’s fucked up. From Slate.com:

‘A Houston grand jury decided on Tuesday not to indict a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man in January. Officer Juventino Castro, a 10-year veteran of the force, was working as an off-duty security guard at a Houston strip mall that had recently experienced a string of robberies when he shot and killed 26-year-old Jordan Baker after a brief confrontation in the mall parking lot.

Castro was in uniform when he confronted Baker, thinking he was a potential burglar.’

I haven’t seen any mention of which sort of uniform he was wearing. Added: he was apparently wearing his police uniform.

HuffPo says that the police claimed that Castro believed that Baker ‘matched the description of a robbery suspect who’d been targeting the strip mall; you know: black of a certain age wearing a hoodie.

The Houston Chronicle said:

‘Castro’s attempt to stop Baker in the parking lot led to a brief struggle and foot chase, an HPD news release said. When Baker stopped running away, he reached into his waistband and charged the officer, police contend. Castro fired his gun once and struck Baker. The officer was not injured in the incident, police said.

Castro was placed on standard three-day administrative duty immediately following the shooting. An internal investigation to determine if the officer violated any agency policies or procedures was set to begin after the grand jury delivered its decision, HPD Chief Charles McClelland confirmed last week.’

Hi mother, Janet Baker said while walking out of the grand jury courtroom that she would seek justice for her son.

She is quoted a saying that he was a good kid, and hadn’t done anything wrong since he was in high school, ten years ago, and none of that was important enough to be on his permanent record. He was attending community college, has left behind a seven-year-old son, Jordan Baker, Jr.

‘Houston attorney Sadiyah Evangelista said she will be filing a federal complaint with the Justice Department on behalf of the Baker family.

“Regardless of the grand jury’s decision, Jordan Baker’s death will not be in vain. We have decided that the push for justice will not stop in the secret halls of the Harris County grand jury. We’re taking it further,” Muhammad said. “We obviously have a system that don’t give a damn about us.”’

“He did everything right,” Janet Baker, the victim’s mother, said at the time of his death. “He’s a college student, he was working part time. He does everything for his son. His son is his life.”

From Slate again:

For some perspective the on the performance of the grand juries in the county where Jordan was shot, Harris County: “Harris County grand juries have cleared [Houston Police Department] officers of criminal wrongdoing in all shootings since 2008. More than a quarter of the 121 civilians shot by the department’s officials from 2008 to 2012 were—like Baker— unarmed, according to a Houston Chronicle (‘Bulletproof’, Part I of IV) analysis.’

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In other too similar news:

From IndianCountryToday:

‘Native American Man Who Attended Anti-Police Brutality Rally Is Killed By Police Next Day’

‘A man who participated in an anti-police brutality march and rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Friday was shot and killed by police a day later, according to reports.

Rapid City Police identified the victim as Allen Locke, 30, of Rapid City. At about 6 p.m. Saturday, police were dispatched to a subdivision known as Lakota Community Homes to remove a person from a residence there, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, who was on site investigating the shooting, told the Rapid City Journal that Officer Anthony Meirose fired his weapon after Locke allegedly charged him with a knife. Police are saying Locke was shot up to five times by Officer Meirose. Locke was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the shooting, according to the Associated Press.

Captain Dan Rud told reporters that tasing Locke was not an option.’

Allen Locke was a Lakota sundancer.

From the #NativesLivesMatter Twitter account:

Someone in Ferguson Tweeted this flash from the past a few days ago.

And from the account of #BlackLivesMatter, Goku Shmurda‏:

I don’t want to be tomorrow’s hashtag#RIP #AntonioMartin

(cross-posted at My.Firedoglake.com)

10 responses to “Houston Cop Who Executed Unarmed Jordan Baker Cleared of All Charges

  1. @deray
    Here’s the livestream of the Milwaukee protests currently underway:

    http://ustre.am/1k82s #DontreHamilton

  2. Hello wendyedavis,

    This link about the City of Bloomington was off the topic and direction of the ending discussion in this thread at the other ship. Criminal charges against protesters for lost sales revenue as a result of the protests at the MOA.

    PR Watch here, explored the topic of defining public spaces and what free speech is allowed where, when an entity like the Maul of America still gets taxpayer subsidies of $250M a year. Apparently definitions of the public square have changed over the years.

    Admittedly off the topic of the individuals and families directly victimized by police violence resulting in the death of a family member. Part of the larger suppression of dissent, here, certainly.


  3. oopsie; sorry. i must not be getting comments by email again. I’d only stopped by to grab a few diary titles.

    ‘redefining public spaces’; oh, my. how often re judges on the side of the investor class now?

  4. Hello beautiful people.

    Just a quick update. At our last event “How Police Kill with Impunity” which was attended by Green Party Minneapolis Councilman Cam Gordon I just signed up 25 new volunteers for Cop watch in Minneapolis. that leaves a total of 30 volunteers. We are now in the process of coordinating with AIM Patrol. American Indian Movement Patrol in Minneapolis. We have also reached out and are in the early coordinating states with other activists in north Minneapolis and St Paul to expand our Cop Watch patrols.
    Keep an eye on Minnesota folks.


  5. it makes sense that there’s an AIM chapter in minneapolis. i’d been running in to some history of aim in south dakota, and whizzing away in search of more history that seems to have been ‘revised’ in ways i found very uncomfortable.

    what do cop watchers do, michael cavlan? it does sound very good that you found so many new volunteers, given the organization’s name, at any rate.
    if folks are recording, you might want to look at PINAC to find laws on same, and some history, most of it egregious as hell

    i hope folks there are aware of lakota sundancer allen locke having been killed by a cop in rapid city. it sounds like exactly same old story (it’s in the OP)

    be well, and sorry i’m so slow answering. wordpress will send me a comment here just often enough that i believe it’s functional, only to come by and find i’ve missed five. pffffft. and they want my $99 three months early, don’t they? ;)

  6. Wendye

    Yes we are aware of the Lakota Sundance killed by cops. there is a meme out now about it called Native Lives Matter

    We are doing a Cop watch training today in about 5 hours. We have 4 of us who are experienced Cop watchers. We know how to do it and will train the others. Then if people are Ok with it we are going to do an on the job training tonight in Minneapolis. We are also preparing for a St Paul Cop Watch Branch.

    Quick wee FYI. Our Cop Watch Branch is named the Daryl Robinson Branch. This is an Irish Republican tradition of naming a branch (in Irish it iOS called a Cummann) in honor of a dead hero. Last year we lost one of our greatest Cop watcher, a guy named Daryl Robinson. Daryl was a Lion, the VP of Communities United Against Police brutality and he was completely unafraid of Cops. I used to go on Cop Watch with him and in fact Daryl was one of the groomsman at my wedding. he died from a low blood sugar during the night. De was diabetic.

    Daryl Robinson Presente

    We go out tonight in honor of him.

    Daryl Robin

    oh and greetings to you and Mr Wendye Davis. :)

  7. actually, native lives matter is a hashtag, lol. as in, there is a twitter stream for it. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nativelivesmatter there’s an indianLivesmatter one, as well. (it’s on the last tweet w/ sitting bull’s quote.)

    thank you for explaining, and good fortune with all of it (even if i still don’t understand what cop watchers actually *do*. ;) and best to you and miz c.

  8. Wendye and all

    when I have a wee bit of time I will post EXACTLY what we COP WATCHERS do. When I have time- LOL what a funny joke eh?


  9. ah, you may never have time, but i will understand, michael cavlan. ;)

    it is indeed interesting, juliania. those who read the ‘leaked testimony’ were sickened, and mcculloch arguably suborned perjury fro juror #40, a known liar from other cases.

    but aside from putting micahel brown on trial, the DA also brought in a law that said cops could shoot fleeing suspects. that law was declared unconstitutional in 1992 or something. he of course cleared it up at the end, but oy, the damage was already done. he should be disbarred of course.

    but good on the staten island judge; i hope it comes to something good. i’ve read so many more cases of cops killing needlessly this week, or being killed in police stations by tasers. one young man with down’s syndrome was tased and pressed onto the floor by three cops for so long he died of asphyxiation. they claim that it was ‘only a minute or two’.

    know why? he wanted to stay to watch a movie for the second time. can’t have that! (really, didn’t that used to be okay back in the day?) in an ugly spate of irony, the movie was ‘zero dark thirty’.

    too many, too many.

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