Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said he is not the source of information leaked about the officer involved shooting death of Larry Jackson, Jr.
It’s the first time the chief has spoken publically about the shooting incident and the leak. Acevedo was out of town last week because of a death in his family.
While he was gone, Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent called a press conference and urged Austin City Manager Marc Ott to commission a special investigation into who leaked privileged information about the shooting to an Austin media outlet.
Vincent said the leak violated the rights of veteran police Det. Charles Kleinert who, on July 26, shot 32-year-old Jackson in the back of the neck, killing him. Kleinert questioned Jackson in front of a closed Central Austin bank where the detective was investigating an unrelated robbery. Jackson ran and Kleinert chased him, commandeering a civilian’s vehicle during the pursuit. Kleinert found Jackson walking down the sidewalk and chased him into a park where Jackson was shot.
Police say they have evidence Jackson was at the bank to commit fraud, though why the detective decided to use such significant measures to chase him down is unclear.
"We have a foot pursuit policy that has some very specific requirements,” Acevedo said Monday. “Part of our investigation will be to look to see was the policy adhered to. I am not going to comment specifically to we're these in our policy, because quite frankly, to do so would jeopardize our investigation.”
Acevedo asked city residents for patience as an investigation into the shooting continues. The probe is expected to take 45 days. He’ll also be looking into who signed off on listing Jackson’s death as a “justifiable homicide” on a custodial death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office. A request has been made to change the listing to “undetermined” until more is learned about the incident.
As for the leak, Acevedo said it’s unlikely the source of the leak will be found, and he called the Austin Police Association press conference a “dog and pony show.”
The shooting has brought scrutiny from all aspects of the community.
Ott called on the resources of the Department of Justice to review how police policy matches procedure and he says the city’s legal department is looking into the source of the leak.
Jackson’s family has hired local attorney Adam Loewy to represent them in what could be a lawsuit against the city. Loewy has provided legal representation in a variety of high-profile police shootings.