Parents of Houston chase suspect shot by police hit back at HPD chief disputing independent autopsy

Jalen Randle, 29, was shot and killed by a police officer on Josie Street in northeast Houston on April 27.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Chase suspect's family firm on claim that officer shot him in back of neck
In the face of Houston police Chief Troy Finner urging them to correct "misinformation," the family of Jalen Randle remained firm on a claim that an officer shot their loved one in the back of his neck.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston man's official autopsy results haven't been released yet in the six weeks since he was fatally shot by police, but that hasn't stopped both the police chief and the man's family from disputing each other's take on how he died.

Jalen Randle's family was front and center during a news conference Wednesday afternoon to specifically address HPD Chief Troy Finner's claims that their loved one was shot in the front of his neck, according to the family's attorney.

Just the day before, Finner himself hit back at the family's claim, which was based on an independent autopsy, that the bullet that killed Randle entered the back of his neck.

Finner called on the family's attorney, Ben Crump, to correct the claim.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Man wanted on 3 outstanding warrants shot by HPD dies at the hospital

"While official autopsy results are pending, preliminary results indicate there was one gunshot wound to the front of Mr. Randle's neck. Mr. Crump and his team have publicly stated and used a diagram to indicate the gunshot wound was to the back of Mr. Randle's neck," Finner wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter on Tuesday. "Mr. Crump should correct the false information and explain that the diagram is not part of Mr. Randle's official autopsy."

Finner went on to ask observers of the case not to rush to judgment and to wait for the investigations to be completed.

For their part, Randle's parents, Warren Randle and Tiffany Rachel, through Crump, additionally believe the assertion of a bullet in the back of their son's neck was consistent with what the family was told by emergency room doctors and the funeral home director, as well as what the family saw on bodycam footage released by the police department late last month.

SEE MORE: Family of man killed by HPD officer reacts to release of body camera video: 'It's terrible'

"The family believes that in no case was the shooting justified," a Crump statement read.

Randle was 29 when he died as he got out of a vehicle that was being pursued by members of the HPD Narcotics Division Tactical Team on April 27.

According to police, Randle, already a convicted felon, was wanted on three warrants at the time of the pursuit. In the immediate aftermath, police stated Randle did not have a gun in his hand but was in possession of a bag that contained one.

Since then, Randle's parents and Crump have singled out Officer Shane Privette, the person believed to have fired the fatal shot. Privette, Crump said, has a prior record of his own regarding excessive force, most notably a 2017 grand jury indictment in which he was accused of kneeing a drug suspect in the face. The charge was eventually thrown out, but a federal civil suit tied to the case is ongoing.

Crump and Randle's parents have called on Privette's termination.

"He went from excessive force to deadly force," Crump said during a news conference earlier this month.

SEE MORE: Chase suspect's killing and questionable 2017 encounter are enough to terminate officer, family says