AUSTIN -- The Austin Police Association is asking Austin City Manager Marc Ott to hire an outside investigator to look into the leaking of confidential information at the police department.
Last week information was revealed regarding the statement Detective Charles Kleinert gave to the department’s Internal Affairs Division.
Kleinert shot and killed a man during a bank robbery investigation in late July. The shooting is still under investigation. According to the leaked statement, Kleinert told Internal Affairs that it was an accident.
“We want sworn affidavits. We want cell phone records examined and anything else deemed necessary in an effort to find out why it was so important for someone with privileged information to peddle a story to only selected individuals,” said APA President Wayne Vincent.
Vincent says the leaking of Kleinert’s statement is criminal.
“At the heart of this deliberate leak was information that was critical to a real, live investigation where an officer stands accused of taking someone’s life,” said Vincent. “We believe the intention of those who leaked this information was to manipulate a desired outcome.”
Vincent says there were only a handful of people in the room when Detective Kleinert gave his formal statement. This included internal affairs officers, the Police Monitor's Office and Kleinert's attorney.
“The criminal act of releasing confidential information not only serves to give the public a distorted and incomplete picture of what happened, but jeopardizes all facets of future [investigations],” said Vincent. “It serves to poison a potential jury pool.”
Kleinert was investigating a bank robbery in Central Austin at the time of the shooting. Police say Larry Eugene Jackson, Junior, 32, went to the bank as officers were investigating, but ran when they approached him.
During the chase Kleinert's gun went off. A bullet hit Jackson in the back of the neck, killing him.
“The citizens of this great city have an undeniable right to expect the truth in this investigation,” explained Vincent. “That’s why we are stepping in.”
Vincent is asking Ott to appoint an outside individual or entity to run the investigation and is asking that a member of the APA have a role in the selection of that person or group.