AUSTIN -- Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is standing by his decision not to punish Officer Nathan Wagner in the shooting death of Byron Carter two years ago.
The incident took place on May 30th, 2011. Officers Wagner and Jeff Rodriguez on patrol for car thieves in East Austin and walked up on a car with two young men inside.
Wagner admits he shot the wrong guy as the car sped away, accidentally killing the passenger 20-year-old Carter.
A citizen's panel disagreed with Acevedo's decision. The police monitor, Margo Frasier says this is an example of why internal documents should be public record whether the officer is punished or not.
"We're working on some things in this current negotiations, which I can't talk about quite right now, because they're not finished. I think we need to continue to develop this office," Fraiser said.
Acevedo released a statement Friday afternoon. Here is the statement in full:
“The Austin Police Department conducted exhaustive criminal and administrative investigations into this critical incident. All of the evidence was presented to a Travis County Grand Jury comprised of members from our diverse community and included a critical review of all of the evidence by several national experts. This thorough process resulted in a finding that the officers acted in a legal manner,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. “Due to pending litigation and state law, the Austin Police Department is limited on what can be said and released as it relates to this incident. The Austin Police Department believes in being transparent, but there are times when we are restricted in releasing information until all legal matters have been completed. I am confident that once all the evidence related to the Byron Carter shooting can be released, the reasons for the grand jury and my findings will be readily supported by the facts and evidence in this tragic incident.”