News station KPRC in Houston is reporting through its Click2Houston web site that a Grand Jury is continuing to consider whether to indict in a local case of a off-duty Houston Police Department (HPD) officer Juventino Castro shooting and killing an unarmed black man, 26-year-old Jordan Baker.

The Grand Jury began meeting last week, and Castro testified before them on December 11, but they have not as yet come to a decision.

Baker was killed by Castro in front of a strip mall where a string of robberies had been reported.  Castro was off-duty and working the strip mall as a security guard at the time.  It has been reported that Castro believed Baker to be a robbery suspect.

Baker’s family say he was approached by Castro as Baker was riding a bike to the store, and that Baker was killed merely for “being black and wearing a hoodie.”

On the police side of the narrative, HPD spokesperson says Baker:

put his hands in waistband, crouches down, charges the officer and tells the officer ‘I told you I am not going to jail.’

The community activist seeming to be getting the most press attention is someone who identifies themselves only as Quannell X.  He is reported to have said:

The officer wants you to believe he rushed him with no weapon? That makes no sense.

and

It is kind of ironic because that’s the same story that Darren Wilson gave when he shot and killed Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  So it seems to be some kind of SOP, Standard Operating Procedure, as it relates to the stories that these officers give, Community Activist Deric Muhammad said the morning of the grand jury hearing.  Like somebody’s telling them  to say A, B, C, D, E, F, G and you’;re guaranteed to go home.

Tellingly, KPRC reports:

The protesters essentially say they will only be satisfied if there is a trial for Baker’s death.  Even then, they claim they will continue to protest the system.

We’ll keep an eye on this story, so keep an eye on us here at Legal Insurrection!

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.