AUSTIN (KXAN) — A grand jury has indicted two Austin Police officers and a Travis County Sheriff’s Business office corrections officer on criminal expenses in two independent incidents.
The new Travis County District Lawyer, José Garza, declared these indictments just above a 7 days right after his business office released thorough updates for two dozen instances of opportunity law enforcement misconduct pending in his office’s Civil Legal rights Division.
“It is so significant that our neighborhood have faith and have faith in in our legal justice method,” Garza informed KXAN’s prison justice reporter Avery Travis after he launched the listing in mid-January. “That they have faith if a regulation enforcement officer engages in misconduct — that if a legislation enforcement officer breaks the legislation — that they will be held accountable. So, that is our goal.”
He reported his office environment would prioritize investigations into officers’ involvement in the fatalities of Mike Ramos and Javier Ambler. His office strategies to current individuals circumstances to the grand jury right before it disbands on March 30 — together with a further situation alleging sexual misconduct towards a former police officer.
Garza mentioned his business office planned to take care of the relaxation of the pending cases chronologically — vowing to update the general public each individual two months until they are introduced prior to a grand jury.
Here’s an in-depth appear at every situation on the D.A.’s record:
Javier Ambler Situation
Javier Ambler died in the custody of Williamson County deputies in March 2019, pursuing a chase that commenced when he reportedly unsuccessful to dim his headlights for oncoming targeted visitors. Ambler’s dying was recorded throughout a taping of the A&E reality present “Live PD,” but the footage hardly ever aired.
Ambler can be heard on system digicam footage recorded by an Austin Law enforcement Department officer stating “I cannot breathe” and informing officers he suffered from congestive coronary heart failure. His family members has because filed a civil lawsuit in opposition to Williamson County.
Garza’s place of work mentioned there had been many investigations into law enforcement allegedly concerned in the incident, particularly the previous Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and standard counsel for the county, Jason Nassour. Chody and Nassaour have been indicted felony costs of tampering with proof in the scenario in Williamson County past calendar year.
Garza’s office also declared pending investigations into 4 deputies.
For additional particulars on this situation:
Investigation pertaining to Walter Dodds
In Might 2020, APD declared its was investigating 34-calendar year-previous Walter Dodds for sexual misconduct.
Later that yr, Dodds was arrested on a sexual assault cost. According to the arrest affidavit, he was accused of assaulting a girl he met on a get in touch with as a law enforcement officer.
That affidavit spelled out Dodds manufactured contact with a lady although responding to a get in touch with involving a different human being at an apartment in northeast Austin on April 18. The girl afterwards reported becoming awoken by an officer sexually assaulting her though in uniform. In accordance to the affidavit, by way of DNA examination, it was considered Dodds’ DNA was existing at the scene.
APD told KXAN he was positioned on limited duty throughout an investigation into the accusations, but Dodds resigned on Aug. 31, right before the administrative investigation into the incident was accomplished.
For more facts on this case:
Mike Ramos scenario
On April 24, 2020, 42-calendar year-old Michael Ramos was shot in the parking ton of a south Austin condominium building in the course of a confrontation with police.
The scenario sparked controversy in excess of the summer season just after system and sprint digicam films of the incident were unveiled, and protesters marched in Ramos’ name.
It’s presently below a joint investigation done by APD’s Specific Investigations Device and the Travis County District Attorney Office’s Civil Legal rights Unit. Garza expects to present it in advance of a grand jury by March 30.
Garza’s office explained they ended up investigating two officers. APD verified one particular was nonetheless serving on regular responsibility, though the other, Christopher Taylor, has been placed on administrative responsibility. The district attorney’s office also observed Taylor is underneath another pending investigation — involving promises pertaining to the dying of Mauris DeSilva (see underneath).
For much more details on the Ramos situation:
Aquantis Griffin situation
In August 2018, Aquantis Griffin, 21, died of numerous gunshots fired by APD officers. Law enforcement mentioned he ran toward officers with a gun in the vicinity of East 6th and Trinity Streets in downtown. When officers advised him to fall the gun, law enforcement mentioned Griffin pointed it at them as an alternative.
Two yrs afterwards, Griffin’s relatives filed a lawsuit towards the City of Austin in civil courtroom, contacting his demise an “unjustified killing.”
Garza’s business mentioned it was investigating 9 officers allegedly included, and APD verified to KXAN all of the officers detailed are still serving on normal responsibility at the section.
The D.A. expects to existing this scenario to a grand jury in early summer months 2021.
For extra aspects on this case:
Isaiah Hutchinson case
In March 2019, 23-12 months-old Isaiah Hutchinson’s physique was uncovered in an abandoned Maserati, after an officer-involved shooting.
Garza’s release stated the four officers allegedly concerned in this incident ended up doing the job downtown during the South by Southwest Competition. APD verified to KXAN all 4 of them are even now serving on common responsibility at the department.
Garza’s business office expects to existing this situation to a grand jury in early summer time 2021.
Carlos Dodero situation
In April 2019, APD officers responded to a number of phone calls to 911 for a disturbance taking place on the Pennybacker Bridge. A viewer’s sprint digital camera movie of the incident confirmed a girl managing from her husband right after a crash, ahead of seeking to get into one more car. According to witnesses at the time, the person pinned the woman to the floor, but numerous bystanders came to her support.
He reportedly ran into a wooded area close by, wherever officers’ entire body cameras captured audio of them commanding him to fall a gun. In accordance to APD Police Main Brian Manley at the time of the incident, the gentleman could be listened to expressing, “I have a gun, I will shoot you.” Dodero later on died from gunshot injuries.
Garza claimed two officers presently becoming investigated, in conjunction with APD’s Exclusive Investigations Unit. Still, his office expects to current it to a grand jury in early summer 2021. APD studies both of those officers are on normal responsibility with the drive.
Mauris DeSilva situation
In accordance to the D.A.’s business, 46-12 months-old Mauris Nishanga DeSilva died from multiple gunshot wounds soon after a confrontation with law enforcement in downtown Austin on July 31, 2019.
In accordance to a security guard at the scene, a resident of the condominiums was holding a knife to his very own throat when officers arrived. Police claimed DeSilva dismissed instructions to halt and walked in direction of responding officers with a knife.
At the time, Chief Brian Manley mentioned, “I do want to choose a moment truly to express our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of the deceased here right now. All over again, it was an individual who evidently was in some level of psychological disaster that drew us out below right now and resulted in the scene that played out at the rear of us in this condominium tower.”
Tyler Grist situation
On August 31, 2019, Tyler Grist, 28, was discovered unconscious in his cell in the Travis County jail. He later on died at the medical center.
The situation is being jointly investigated by the Travis County Sheriff’s Business office, Texas Office of Community Security and the Travis County D.A. Civil Rights Unit, but Garza did not give a timeline for this investigation.
Fred Babcock situation
Fred Louis Babcock, 74, was killed soon after law enforcement said he barricaded himself in an apartment off Anderson Lane and fired numerous photographs at SWAT staff members outside.
Neighbors in the area have been evacuated for the duration of the standoff, and Babcock’s spouse was claimed to be dealt with at the clinic for accidents just after officers pressured their way inside of to get her out. Babcock died as a result of a gunshot wound, right after staying fired upon by a sniper with APD.
The case is nonetheless under a joint investigation by APD’s Unique Investigations Device and the Travis County District Legal professional Office’s Civil Rights Unit, but Garza’s place of work expects the investigation need to be concluded in time be presented to a grand jury in early tumble 2021.
For more particulars on this situation:
Enrique Quiroz case
Enrique Quiroz, 41, died after “suffering a health care emergency” in the custody of Austin law enforcement officers and Austin-Travis County EMS on March 31, 2020. Quiroz was arrested next a battle with officers, and APD claimed a stun gun was employed on Quiroz to subdue him.
The D.A. said various officers were associated in the investigation. They anticipate this case will be presented to a grand jury in early fall 2021.
For extra aspects on this case:
Dylan Polinski circumstance
Dylan Polinski, 23, was shot in the leg by officers in the course of a SWAT standoff at north Austin hotel. According to APD at the time, he was remaining sought on a previous warrant for aggravated theft out of Williamson County.
APD’s Exclusive Investigations Device and the D.A.’s office environment Civil Rights Unit are the two investigating this incident. At the time, APD Assistant Chief Troy Gay stated both equally officers would be positioned on compensated administrative go away. APD confirmed to KXAN one of the officers allegedly associated was even now on administrative go away.
The D.A. expects to current the scenario to a grand jury “no later” than early fall of 2021.
Alexander Gonzalez circumstance
Alexander Gonzales, 27, died in early January, following an incident on Wickersham Lane near Oltorf Road in southeast Austin. In accordance to an off-obligation police officer, Gonzales reduce him off in targeted traffic, then pointed a gun at him. More on-duty officers responded and shot at Gonzales.
The case is also going through a joint investigation involving the APD’s Distinctive Investigations Device and the D.A.’s Civil Rights Unit. Garza reported he expects to present this circumstance to a grand jury this tumble, as nicely.
Investigations into accidents at summer protests
Garza’s office environment stated there have been 10 unique investigations into accidents sustained by folks protesting law enforcement brutality all through the weekend of Might 30 and 31, adhering to the fatalities of George Floyd and Mike Ramos.
In just about every incident, a complainant claimed to have been strike by “bean bag” ammunition. A person of these scenarios requires a minor. Law enforcement also used pepper spray and significantly less-than-deadly bean bag and foam bullets to disperse crowds — some of whom collected on Interstate 35.
In December, the Metropolis of Austin introduced 11 Austin law enforcement officers ended up disciplined for their actions through the protests and 7 a lot more had been on administrative obligation as the district attorney’s place of work reviewed their scenarios. When KXAN asked for the responsibility status of the 10 officers named in D.A. Garza’s report, the office indicated all 10 outlined were however serving on normal duty.
Garza’s office mentioned a full overview of these use of power allegations is continue to underway, but he expects to existing these cases to a grand jury in early slide of 2021.
For additional data on these cases:
Indictments already handed down
The list of circumstances pending in the Civil Rights Division and launched by Garza’s business office also bundled a few situations which have currently absent just before a grand jury, ensuing in a legislation enforcement officer’s indictment. All those involve:
Condition of Texas v. Marcus Reed
A previous Austin Fire Section arson investigator — accused of the 2017 sexual assault of a woman — was observed responsible of aggravated perjury last 12 months, but a mistrial was declared on the sexual assault charge. Garza’s business office stated a retrial for this circumstance was set for Jan. 25, 2021.
Last 12 months, Reed was also indicted on a charge of Indecency with a Little one by Sexual Get hold of. That jury demo is also scheduled for January 25.
For a lot more particulars on this situation, click on here.
State of Texas v. Nathaniel Stallings
A former Austin police officer was billed with Assault and Abuse of Official Ability in 2018, right after an incident where he was accused of applying excessive force with a female suspected of prostitution.
Both of those cases are pending a jury trial on April 19, 2021, according to Garza’s business.
For far more information on this scenario, click on below.
Condition of Texas v. Lando Hall
Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted an officer with APD on seven charges, accusing him of using his entry to assist somebody he knew with individual court docket cases.
Garza’s business reported no day has been established for this trial, but it was pending in District Court docket.
For extra specifics on this situation, simply click here.
Because of to COVID-19 restrictions, criminal jury trials are nevertheless not going on in Travis County.