Houston DSA is calling upon all its members, allies, and people of conscience in the city of Houston to join in solidarity with the family of @Jalen J Randle and all victims of racist police violence at 10AM, Saturday, April 22nd, at City Hall. April 27th will mark the one-year anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of Jalen at the hands of white police officer Shane Privette. It will also mark one year without justice – one year of protests and tireless organizing, all led every step of the way by Jalen’s parents, Tiffany Rachal and Warren Randle, supported by their allies in the neighborhood of Pleasantville and the wider city of Houston.
This statement will not go over the hideous and outrageous details of Jalen’s murder, which you can find at the links below. They are not fundamentally different than George Floyd’s. They are – as with every lynching from Emmitt Till to Tyre Nichols – a merciless indictment and conviction of this society and how it is organized from top to bottom.
As @Warren Randle has remarked, “it took 3 seconds” for HPD to murder Jalen. And every second, hour, day, and month since Jalen’s murder without any meaningful action from the city has demonstrated the baleful contempt and heinous disregard this racist system has for the families it destroys and the communities of color it terrorizes. In George Floyd’s hometown – whose political class was so quick to ride the protest wave of the 2020 BLM Uprising – we have a prosecutor that refuses to prosecute lynchers who wear a badge and blue, a police chief that practically shrugs at the executions carried out by the cops under his supervision, and a City Hall – Democrats and Republicans alike – that would much rather sit on their hands, pass-blocking for the interests of HPD and the wealth the cops loyally “protect and serve” than the lives of communities of color in this city.
Jalen was murdered during a far-right backlash following the 2020 uprising and was one of the 1,183 *record number* of police murders of 2022. In this context, it is worth noting further that Jalen attended Furr High School in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), which the state of Texas is currently intending to takeover and pulverize, closing black and brown schools, privatizing them, and replacing them with testing factories under the name of “charters.” It is clear they want Houston without a school district but with a police department. In Atlanta, the same forces are seizing indigenous and ecologically protected land to put up a 90-million-dollar police training facility, known as “Cop City.” From Jalen to Tortuguita, from Houston to Atlanta, the map of police activity is a map of murder and dispossession.
To their Cop City, we say Our City. To their HPD, we say HISD.
Inside the doors of City Hall, the wall reads “The People Are The City.” This is not a statement – but a demand, one we made in the streets that BLM conquered in 2020, from the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement, from tenants on rent strike, from workers defending picket lines – one we are still making from every grassroots struggle. If the people are the city, then Jalen’s family deserves justice – people should come before police. So should our schools, our hospitals, our nurses, our firefighters, our teachers, and our housing. When we say “Indict. Convict. Disarm. Defund. Abolish,” we demand a society beyond racial capitalism; we demand a society where life is more precious than profit – a world where Jalen would be alive today.
We must fight for it – together – every day. Stand with Jalen’s family and join us on Saturday, April 22nd, 10 AM at City Hall.