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Family of Jalen Randle says he was shot from behind by HPD; hires attorney Ben Crump

Randle, 29, was shot and killed by a Houston police officer on April 27. Crump said their independent autopsy showed he was shot in the back of his neck.

HOUSTON — The family of a man shot and killed by a Houston police officer late last month has hired high-powered attorney Ben Crump. 

They believe the April 27 shooting of Jalen Randle was unjustified. An HPD SWAT officer, who had Randle under surveillance for outstanding felony warrants, shot and killed the 29-year-old in northeast Houston.

The shooting followed a brief chase that ended on Josie Street near Ledwicke.  Randle got out of the passenger side and was holding a bag. Witnesses claimed he was running away when he was shot.

“The facts are the facts. Jalen Randle was shot from behind," Crump said. “How is he such a danger running away from you, Houston Police Department?”

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Crump said their independent autopsy confirmed that Randle was shot in the back of his neck.

Police said a gun was found in the bag but Randle didn't fire any shots. 

"They don’t get the right to be the judge, the jury and the executioner. They don’t get that right,” Crump said.

He said the family and community are demanding "justice, transparency and accountability."

WATCH: Ben Crump news conference on Jalen Randle shooting

Parents demand answers

Tiffany Rachal, Randle's mother, fought back tears at the news conference, saying she spoke to her son just an hour before he was shot. His last words to her were, "I love you, Mama."

“When the police officer struck my child, he took my heart,” she said. “I seen everything that’s going on in the world, and I never thought it would be me. It’s nothing that you all can say to me, it’s nothing that you can do, 'cause you can’t bring him back. And I want justice for my child.”

Warren Randle said the toughest thing for him was breaking the news to Jalen's young daughter, who was at the news conference.

“I’m in a situation now that I thought I’d never be in, having to explain to my 5-year-old granddaughter what happened to her father,” Randle said. “This, in itself, is gotta be the most difficult thing I’ve ever encountered.”

The family and Crump called on HPD to release the bodycam video immediately, rather than wait 30 days.

“This is not just a Black and White thing, it’s a right and a wrong thing,” Randle said. “You had an insurgence in the Capitol building with people running around with guns out? Why wasn’t they shot? … Why were they judged differently?”

What happened?

The Houston Police Department said a tactical team was looking for Randle that fateful afternoon when they spotted him get into a car. Officers tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver kept going.

The chase didn't last long. After the driver stopped, Randle got out of the car and was shot. He later died at the hospital.

The officer who shot Randle was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.

Crump said they are giving HPD until May 25 -- the anniversary of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer -- to release the video before they take further action.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said HPD was searching the car when Randle was shot, but they now say that wasn't the case.

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