People launch fight for justice for African teen gunned down by Houston cop

Note: This article originally ran at The case is still pending, and a grand jury for the family’s case is being organized. Please show your support against imperialism.

Egundele Hakil Shalamath Fagbenro

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On April 19, 2010, Clevonta “Tae” Reynolds was shot and killed by an off-duty Houston police officer in Arlington, TX. It was just nine days after Tae’s 18th birthday.

The off-duty officer, Rafael Baez, was in a house visiting family members when they heard what sounded like a vehicle collision in the street in front of their house.

Baez and family members went outside, and an altercation occurred between the Baez family and several teenagers who were not responsible for the damage to the vehicle. Both parties claim the other began a physical assault.

Witnesses say that Officer Baez pulled out his weapon and threatened the teens, suggesting he would shoot.

During the chaos, Tae Reynolds remained in a nearby vehicle and did not engage in the disagreement.

When Officer Baez pulled out the weapon, however,  Tae got out of the car and and walked toward Baez, arguing in defense of the threatened teens.  He did not know that the man who was threatening his friends with a gun was a police officer.

Baez fired his gun multiple times. Several shots hit a car belonging to one of the teens.  hitting Tae was hit in the arm and thigh. The fatal bullet, which emptied the officer's gun clip, hit Tae in the chest/abdomen area as he lay on the ground, injured from the other shots.

No one else was injured in the gunfire.

Officer Baez continued to threaten the other youths present. He told them that they, too, would be shot and killed if they attempted to offer Tae aid. The teens saw their classmate and friend dying but could not go to his side. Local authorities arrived at the scene and attempted to render life assistance to Tae, but unsuccessfully. He died en route to the hospital.

For Tae Reynolds, the civil rights and right to due process granted by amendments V and XIV of the constitution of the United States have been violated.  His rights to life, liberty and happiness have been denied.

Meanwhile, Officer Rafael Baez’s gun has been returned to him. He continues working on the streets of Houston, TX, even as a grand jury is being assembled to determine charges against him.

WE HAVE SEEN THE SYSTEM FAIL THE PEOPLE TOO MANY TIMES. We must demand that charges be brought against Officer Baez. Contact the office of District Attorney Joe Shannon, (817) 884 – 4100, and demand that a proper case against Rafael Baez be prepared.

The family of Tae Reynolds needs your assistance to continue this battle for justice. Please donate any amount possible to help with fliers, posters, rallies, and travel to Houston to demand that Officer Baez be removed from duty during the legal proceedings.

You can donate  using your bank card or credit card at For details on making cash or check donations, email

Thank you for caring. Your dollar is your voice in the struggle for justice.

The system is not for Africans’ benefit, when it comes to civil rights or justice!

Let’s keep fighting for self-determination to bring control back to the African people!

One Africa! One Nation! Uhuru!


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