Who Leaked Police Info?
Police union president calls for city action
Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent on Jan. 23 asked Deputy City Manager Mike McDonald and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo to investigate who leaked confidential information from the Citizen Review Panel in the officer-involved shooting case of 20-year-old Byron Carter. Carter was shot four times last May by Officer Nathan Wagner; he was the passenger in a car driven by a juvenile who Wagner said tried to drive into his partner, Officer Jeffrey Rodriguez. The CRP reviewed the case last year, and last week the panel's conclusion – that Wagner should be fired for the shooting – was leaked to the Austin American-Statesman. "Due to the gravity" of the leak, Vincent wrote in a letter to the two city officials, "we are requesting an outside investigation be initiated with the goal of determining who had access to this information, and who of that group released the information." At press time, city officials had not said whether they would investigate the matter. In a message to union members also sent Monday, Vincent wrote that he was outraged by the release, which he characterized as an "obvious attempt to diminish what little protections [our] officers are afforded during an intimidating administrative and criminal investigation."
The criminal investigation into the shooting is slated to go to a Travis County grand jury by the end of the month; Acevedo has said he will wait to decide whether the officers will face any administrative sanction until after the criminal inquiry has concluded.