Discipline of APD Officer Still Uncertain

Chief asks for more time to consider possible discipline in fatal police shooting

By Jordan Smith, Fri., Nov. 25, 2011

Byron Carter
Byron Carter

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo this week told the Texas Attorney General's Office that he'll need more time before making a determination about whether to discipline Officer Nathan Wagner, responsible for the May shooting death of 20-year-old Byron Carter, a passenger in a car that Wagner and his partner were attempting to stop. State civil service law provides a six-month window for police officials to impose discipline – anything from a reprimand to termination – based on the outcome of an administrative inquiry into whether department policies or procedures were violated during a given incident. In a press statement, Acevedo said he's asking for the extension because a criminal inquiry into the incident is ongoing and the case has not yet been presented to a Travis County grand jury. To conclude the administrative inquiry – by either clearing Wagner or imposing some discipline while the criminal investigation is ongoing – would "substantially affect the integrity of the pending criminal investigation," he said. Adam Loewy, the Carter family's attorney, was not pleased. "We are very disappointed with this delaying tactic," he said. "Justice delayed is justice denied." (For more, see "Carter Called Home Before Fatal Police Shooting," Oct. 21.)

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