Family members, activists demand answers in shooting of unarmed man by HPD officer


by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 7:20 PM

HOUSTON – Community activists and family members want to know how HPD can justify the shooting death of an unarmed man last week.

Family and friends along with community activist Quanell-X gathered at the site of 26-year-old Jordan Baker’s death last Thursday.

“Jordan, Jordan, Jordan,” The crowd of more than 50 chanted loudly.

“Basically I am over come with grief. At this point, I don’t have a lot to say. I do, I love everybody that is here,” Janet Baker said about her son.

This is a situation this family never imagined they would be in – a son, a young father – shot and killed by an officer with the Houston Police Department.

That is something that community advocate Quanell-X says he has seen all too many times.

“He was guilty of only two things –being a young African male wearing a hoodie at night,” the activist said.

Thursday night Baker was shot by a uniformed HPD officer J Castro, working security at the strip center on Antoine and Little York.

There have been a number of armed robberies allegedly committed by young men in hoodies here.

There were no witnesses to the shooting but the officer, an 11 year veteran.

“He wants everyone to believe that Jordan rushed him unarmed with no weapon in his hand, with a cop with a gun in his hand. This don’t make no sense at all,” Quanell-X said.

In a statement, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland told KHOU 11 News that investigators, “found no weapon,” and added, “any police officer’s decision and justification to use deadly force is not absolute on whether the suspect is armed with a weapon. There is no federal, state law nor police training that requires a suspect to be armed. The justification to use deadly force is based on the officer’s perception given the specific circumstances surrounding the incident.”

Plenty here are skeptical about that.

“We will never know. No one knows the truth but God,” said a high school friend of the victim.

“I am just waiting for justice to be served. Looking to the most-high God,” Baker’s mother added.

Jordan Baker was a student at Houston Community College and had no recent incidents with police. The only two charges he ever faced were both dismissed nearly 10 years ago.

Castro is assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of the HPD internal investigation.