Last week I discussed Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson's response to the indictment of Officer Daniel Sanchez for the killing of Rajan Moonesinghe in November of 2022. Again, here was the statement she released:
APD officers are trained to respond to acts of violence and prevent injuries to innocent persons. As seen in the Critical Incident Briefing materials released by APD on December 1, 2022, Officer Sanchez was confronted with a subject who fired a rifle indiscriminately in a densely populated neighborhood. Officer Sanchez responded to that threat consistent with his training. APD will continue to support Officer Sanchez as this process moves forward. For further information, please see the attached briefing and associated videos.
Typically, it would be pretty extraordinary for a police chief to publicly express disappointment in a grand jury or district attorney. But it's a precedent set in Austin by the two preceding police chiefs, Joe Chacon and Brian Manley, who both defended officers indicted by grand juries convened by District Attorney José Garza in the past three years. Perhaps the most notable rebuke came last year, when City Manager Spencer Cronk joined Chacon in casting shade on the indictment of 19 officers for their actions during the 2020 protests.
I sought comment from the city manager, the mayor and every City Council member on the Sanchez indictment and the chief's response to it. I asked the following: