Civilian review panel won't make public recommendation on officer-involved shooting


by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 5:41 PM

AUSTIN -- KVUE News has learned the Austin Police Monitor's Civilian Review Panel will not make a public announcement about their findings in connection with Friday's officer-involved shooting.

Police were called to the Benchmark Bank off 35th Street the morning of July 26 in response to a bank robbery. While the bank doors were locked and closed, investigators say 32-year-old Larry Eugene Jackson came up to the bank and pulled on the doors twice. A bank employee came out to talk to Jackson and told police he was acting suspiciously. When the detective came out to question Jackson, he says Jackson took off running.

Sources tell KVUE Jackson was going to the bank to attempt to pass a forged check.

Austin Police Department Detective Charles Kleinert, a 19-year veteran of APD, chased Jackson to a bridge along Shoal Creek where he then shot and killed Jackson. APD Asst. Chief Brian Manley says Jackson was shot one time in the back of the neck.

Detective Kleinert did not have another other use of force options available; Chief Manley says Kleinert was only carrying a gun.

There is no video or audio of the shooting but police believe there was a witness. They've released surveillance photos of a man they believe saw the shooting and have asked the man to come forward.

This bargaining session, the Austin Police Association reached an agreement with the Austin Police Monitor's Office. The two negotiated an agreement that once the APD Chief Art Acevedo makes a decision regarding punishment in use of force cases, the civilian review panel can then release its recommendation to the public. In the past, those decisions were kept secret.

According to Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent, Friday's shooting does not meet the requirements for the new policy change. Vincent says the agreement only applies to critical incidents that happen on or after October 1, 2013.

The officer is on restricted leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Chief Acevedo will have the final say as to whether Detective Kleinert used reasonable force for the situation. If the officer is punished, the details will become public.

Protesters claim that APD is too aggressive, and in this case, they believe Detective Kleinert should not have chased after Jackson.