Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Monday afternoon he welcomes any investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice into the APD’s policies and tactics after last month's fatal officer-involved shooting.
Last week, Austin City Manger Marc Ott called on the Department of Justice to look at the department's practices involving deadly force.
Acevedo had been out of town when the shooting occurred after the death of his mother.
The chief said any investigation of the department’s practices breeds transparency and trust. He said anytime an officer involved shooting occurs, he hears from the DOJ or FBI.
"Just about every shooting gets at least a blush, a look-- maybe cursory--but there’s always a monitoring from a distance," Acevedo said.
On July 26, Det. Charles Kleinert shot Larry Jackson Jr. after pursuing him from the Benchmark Bank on West 35th Street to underneath the Shoal Creek Bridge.
Acevedo says the department is still investigating the shooting, while also cooperating with the city to find out who leaked information about the investigation to the media. He says while it’s important to find out who leaked the information, the investigation into the shooting remains the first priority.
“We’re not going to let this distract us from most important and when there’s a loss of life that’s the most important pursuit that we have, the pursuit of the facts in the case," Acevedo said.
It’s unclear whether or not the person who leaked information about the investigation works in the police department. Acevedo says regardless, the police department has tightened its internal investigation process for the future. The chief wouldn’t specify what those changes are.
"Understanding that there are a lot of players involved in and outside the department, including people that aren’t even police officers. So the likelihood of finding it is pretty slim, but, nonetheless, we’re going to join the city and help the city with this investigation," he said.
Acevedo says the department is hoping to conclude its investigation in the next month.