Updated: Thursday, 05 Nov 2009, 6:54 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 05 Nov 2009, 11:19 AM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin Police Department fired Det. Chris Dunn Thursday for sending an e-mail that raised concerns of bias in the internal affairs investigation of Officer Leonardo Quintana surrounding the Nathaniel Sanders shooting, according to Dunn's attorney Tom Stribling.
Austin Police Union President Wayne Vincent said the punishment is too harsh.
"We were expecting some type of discipline like a suspension, but certainly not firing him," said Wayne Carter, with the Austin Police Association.
The e-mail that spurred the investigation read:
"We can make [them] a causation of the entire event. I am so smart I scare myself. Thoughts?"
The concern stemmed from the fact that the detective was also an internal affairs investigator in the East Austin officer-involved shooting of Sanders. When the e-mail leaked out, it raised some questions about bias surrounding the investigation. On Thursday the chief made a final decesion on his fate.
"We have unanimously decided to indefinitely suspended Detective Dunn from the Austin Police Department," said Chief Art Acevedo with the Austin Police Department.
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo has previously said that internal affairs is the gatekeeper to the department and that he expects internal affairs to remain above reproach.
"He was sustained on a policy violation for an impartial attitude and for bringing bringing discredit on the organization," said Chief Acevedo.
KeyPoint Government Solutions released a report on the Sanders shooting after a citizens review panel requested an independent investigation into the police-involved shooting death. The 131-page report cited parts of the APD investigation were biased towards officers.
Acevedo responded immediately by saying that the "one disturbing fact" of potential bias that the report pointed out was spurring an individual employee investigation, aside from Quintana's probe.
A special inquiry team was also formed to begin Dunn's investigation, a team that answered directly to the chief of staff to review the report for "gaps or information that does suggest bias."
Dunn's attorney has previously said his client meant no harm and was not siding with one side or another.