After Killing A Black Man, A Repeat Offender Wasn't Charged

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William Anderson
November 4, 2019

Kevin Battle was shot in Fort Worth, Texas while he was holding his grandson’s hand. The man who killed him, Mark Jabben, told authorities he killed Battle in “self-defense,” but for many that reasoning doesn’t add up. 

The shooting occurred on March 25th on the doorstep of their shared duplex. Battle’s son, Kevin Battle II, revealed that a week before the shooting, he’d heard Jabben call his father a racial slur

A police investigation stated that the two had been arguing for a prolonged period of time, and that the shooting was the climax of that ongoing conflict. Jabben is said to have made a comment to Battle’s grandson which Battle felt the need to address. 

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Jabben told police Battle tried to force his way into Jabben’s house during the argument, prompting him to shoot the man.” However, that didn’t make sense to family members and local activists, who questioned why Battle would take his grandchild if he was anticipating any sort of conflict. 

Jabben’s claim of self-defense was validated by the authorities, who didn’t arrest him initially. Although Battle himself was not armed, the police said that “unspecified physical evidence” supported Jabben’s claim that he was defending himself. 

After eluding any repercussions for the killing of Battle, Jabben was arrested just weeks later, on May 10th, for shooting his girlfriend in the shoulder. Jabben told police that “the shooting was an accident,” but that also didn’t add up: “Officers said they also noticed two knots and blood on the woman's head.” 

By the end of May, despite two violent shooting incidents in two months, Jabben was out on bond, which frustrated Kevin Battle’s family and loved ones. Soon, however, the initial shooting had been referred to a grand jury, which ultimately decided to indict him for murder. A third violent incident happened not long after, but he remains out on bond.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has faced a lot of criticism for the way it’s handled the killing of Battle thus far. It’s worth noting that this is the same office that’s handling the case of the police officer who killed Atatiana Jefferson in her own home

Mark Jabben will have to face trial, but after all that’s transpired thus far, it’s not certain that he’ll face the consequences many would hope for. After pain, protests, and more, many people are hoping that there will be some sort of justice for Kevin Battle but only time will tell. 

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