HOUSTON, TX - A black man. Unarmed. Shot in "self-defense." That could describe so many cases around the country, including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Jaquan McDonald. Houstonians will also remember the case of Jordan Baker.
Off-duty HPD officer Juventino Castro shot the unarmed 26-year-old in January 2014. Later that year, a jury no-billed Castro, sparking protests.
"We always felt that something just was not right about that no-bill," said community activist Deric Muhammad. "We felt like there was a missing piece to the puzzle."
The old case is getting new attention after the release of police dash cam video in the Chicago shooting.
"There is an existing video of the encounter between Officer Castro and Jordan Baker," Muhammad said. "We believe there is something that they are hiding that they don't want the public to see."
Muhammad is pushing HPD to release the video immediately.
"Just as the citizens of Chicago had a right to see the Laquan McDonald video, we the citizens of Houston have a right to see the Jordan Baker video," he said.
In response, HPD released the following statement:
"The Houston Police Department has completed the administrative and criminal investigations regarding the officer-involved shooting of Mr. Jordan Baker. The HPD officer’s action in this matter was determined to be within compliance with departmental policy and state law. The incident was also reviewed by a Harris County grand jury and the Independent Police Oversight Board.
A representative for Jordan Baker’s estate has filed a claim with the City Secretary seeking monetary damages. Due to possible civil litigation, and on the advice of the City Attorney, HPD will not release any evidence regarding this case at this time as permitted by the Texas Government Code."
Chicago Police also vowed not to release the McDonald video, but a judge's orders changed that.