Sanders Shooting Decision
APD officer gets 15 days suspension for not turning on dash cam (updated)
By Richard Whittaker and Jordan Smith,
5:23PM, Wed. Nov. 4, 2009
New developments in the May 11 police shooting that resulted in the death of Nathaniel Sanders II and the severe injury of Sir Smith: This from Chronicle reporter Jordan Smith downtown:
(APD Chief Art) Acevedo gives (Officer Leonardo) Quintana 15 days suspension for not turning on camera. Exonerated on all other policy issues, including use of force.
In addition, Officer Mohammad Siddiqui got a three day suspension for failing to turn on his camera.
The Citizens Review Panel agreed with Acevedo's decision to clear Quintana on the issue of use of force, and the department has already made changes in its policy on use of cameras. Now failure to turn the dash cam on under certain circumstances would lead to immediate termination.
In August, a Travis County grand jury declined to indict Quintana, and he was exonerated by an Austin Police Internal Affairs investigation. However, an independent review by KeyPoint found bias towards the officers in that internal report.
Adam Loewy, the attorney for the Sanders family, called this latest decision insulting, and said that it was apparent from this and KeyPoint's investigation that APD's motivation was to clear the officers involved.