An Austin police officer has been indicted as Travis County District Attorney José Garza, who pledged during his campaign to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, starts his first month on the job.
Officer Lando Hall, 43, was booked Saturday into the Travis County Jail on a charge of misuse of official information, records show. He was released from jail that same day.
Hall was suspended from the Austin Police Department as a result of the indictment, said his attorney Doug O’Connell.
The investigation that led to the arrest appears to have been opened last year, records show. Clerks had not yet processed documents about his indictment as of Monday afternoon, and both O’Connell and Garza declined to immediately share details on the case.
While campaigning to be DA last year, Garza — who took office this month — pledged to bring all police shootings and more police misconduct cases before grand juries if elected.
“Holding law enforcement accountable when they break the law is critical to rebuilding community trust, and also to the safety of our community,” Garza told the American-Statesman on Monday. “When members of our community trust the police and prosecutors, they are more likely to believe in the fairness of our justice system, seek help, report crimes, and participate in investigations.”
Garza’s predecessor, Margaret Moore, ended a policy by previous DA Rosemary Lehmberg to take all cases in which an Austin police officer shot a person to a grand jury and instead had her civil rights unit evaluate the cases to determine if they should be brought before a jury.
Police did not immediately respond to a request for Hall’s jail booking photo.
This is a developing story; check back for details.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin officer indicted as new Travis DA, who campaigned on police accountability, starts job
Published at Mon, 11 Jan 2021 14:09:00 +0000