The People’s Task Force gathers Austin community members for a walk in support of Larry Jackson

Kahlil Said

Members of the Austin community gathered at the Givens Recreation Center on Sunday evening to protest against the court proceedings involving the case of Larry Jackson.

Jackson was the victim allegedly murdered by Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert in 2013. Kleinert, now retired, is facing charges for manslaughter.

LaKiza, sister of Larry Jackson joined the People’s Task Force, a community activist group, in the march through the neighborhood around Givens park. Lucian Villasenor, member of the People’s Task Force and UT alumnus, said the community walks are a response to the current motion to dismiss Larry Jackson’s case.

“The community walks are organized to raise awareness of the court proceedings,” Villasenor said. “The walks build political pressure to help others see the case should not be dismissed and there should be a trial.”

Sirat Al-Nahi, government senior and protester, said she felt it was her civil duty to be there and support the cause.

“I do not want to see the charges dropped,” Al-Nahi said. “We are all here for a common cause, which is to hold the right people accountable for their actions, in this case the detective.”

Villasenor said the group tries to get people out to the community walks and protests through old-fashioned organizing.

“Knocking on people’s doors, daily person-to-person conversations, and even panels at UT with Larry Jackson’s family members are some of the ways we raise awareness of the even and try to get people out,” Villasenor said.

LaKiza said the protests are meant to keep Larry Jackson’s name in the public eye as the court proceedings develop.

“We will keep doing what we can by organizing walks, panels and group events until the judge makes his decision,” LaKiza said. “Until then, it is basically a waiting game.”

LaKiza said the People’s Task Force also works other events such as group reading sessions to raise awareness of community issues.

“We hold speaking panels where families with similar problems share their stories,” Lakiza said. “Books relating to the problems we face as a community are read in groups at our group reading sessions.”

As a sibling of Larry Jackson, LaKiza stressed the importance of community involvement.

“We are all here for one common cause, which is justice for my brother, Larry Jackson,” LaKiza said. “Together we will get it.”