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Updated: Friday, 26 Aug 2011, 9:53 AM CDT
Published : Thursday, 25 Aug 2011, 2:59 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - The officer-involved shooting in the early morning hours of May 11, 2009 left Nathaniel Sanders, 18, dead and Sir Lawrence Smith shot and wounded at the Walnut Creek Apartments parking lot.
Austin Police Department Senior Officer Leonardo Quintana, who shot and killed Sanders, was put on administrative leave, pending investigations into the shooting, and later fired for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Officer-involved Nathaniel Sanders shooting timeline
May 11, 2009 in the early morning: Police investigate a suspicious-car report in East Austin at the Walnut Creek Apartments just south of Manor Road at 6409 Springdale Road after there were complaints of shots being fired into the air from a car.
May 11, 2009 at 5 a.m.: Officer Leonardo Quintana fatally shoots Nathaniel Sanders, 19, and wounds Sir Lawrence Smith.
May 11, 2009 around 5 a.m.: Nathaniel Sanders’ brother, Jecovi Taylor, receives word of his brother's death from Sanders' girlfriend.
May 11, 2009: Gang unit detectives begin surveillance on the apartments.
May 11, 2009 at 11 a.m.: Police respond in riot gear and try to calm a community of nearly 200 people who were angry and smashing windows after the shooting. Some eight police cars were damaged, and at least one man was arrested.
May 11, 2009 at 2 p.m:.City officials release shooting details. City Manager Marc Ott, Police Chief Art Acevedo and then-Austin Mayor Will Wynn give their recounts of the incident during a news conference.
May 12, 2009 in the early afternoon: Smith is released from the hospital.
May 12 at 4:51 p.m.: Acevedo expressed concern over the officer-involved shooting and why Sanders’ body was left at the scene for 5 1/2 hours after the shooting.
May 12 late at night: Dozens of neighbors, family and friends gathered at the Walnut Creek Apartments for a candlelight vigil in honor of Sanders. Many people hugged and cried as they gathered around the expanding memorial for the dead teenager.
May 13, 2009: Community members call on the Police Department to overhaul its dash-camera video system and policy after Quintana’s camera wasn’t rolling to capture the fatal shooting. The Austin Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union questions APD’s $800,000 federal funding requests for surveillance cameras.
May 15, 2009: A gang member reportedly threatens to kill Austin police in retalliation for Sanders' shooting death. Known gang member Ellis Ingram IV, 27, is charged with making terroristic threats after he allegedly called police on 911 and threatened to kill all Austin police officers.
May 17, 2009: Family and friends gathered at Cook-Walden Funeral Home to remember Sanders.
May 18, 2009: Sanders' funeral is scheduled at the First Pentecostal Church of Austin, and family and friends buried Sanders. The manager of Cook-Walden Capital Park Funeral Home said when his employees asked off-duty officers to provide funeral escorts, they declined, citing a terroristic threat to officers made by a gang the week before.
May 26, 2009: The NAACP said it hopes Sanders' death triggers community action and that it planned on working with the Walnut Creek Apartments complex to bring more social services to the residents.
June 1, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.: Emotions run high at an East Austin community forum at the Delco Center with city officials. Officials organized the forum to provide information about Sanders' shooting death the month before.
June 2, 2009: Sanders' family filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin and Quintana. The suit claimed:
August 3, 2009: Austin police chief asked all on-duty officers to show up to work the next day in uniform in anticipation of an imminent grand jury decision on whether or not Quintana will be criminally indicted.
August 4, 2009: The Travis County grand jury declined to indict Quintana for the fatal shooting of Sanders. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said Quintana’s actions did not violate criminal law.
The dash-cam video is shown for the first time during the press conference.
Elements released that day via the Travis County DA's Web site:
August 5, 2009: Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg released a statement in its entirety, recounting the police shooting on May 11 and reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict the officer.
August 6, 2009: Sanders' family protests Quintana’s no-bill, and family attorney Adam Loewy voices intentions of filing a complaint with the federal government’s civil rights department to protest the Travis County grand jury’s decision.
August 18, 2009: The city police monitor presented the department’s internal affairs report on Sanders’ shooting at a special session of a citizen review panel at City Hall behind closed doors.
August 19, 2009: A citizens review panel requested an independent investigation into the police-involved shooting death. The decision came less than 24 hours after the Austin Police Department's internal affairs report on the shooting was presented by Police Monitor Cliff Brown to the five-member citizens panel.
August 21, 2009: Ott selected Colorado-based KeyPoint Government Solutions to perform the independent outside investigation into the police-involved shooting death.
October 5, 2009: An independent review of the Sanders police-involved shooting is complete.
Parts of the 133-page report by KeyPoint Government Solutions were made public, though heavily redacted.
The report cited parts of the police investigation were biased towards officers and there were “substantive deficiencies.” They also cited “signficant deficiencies in the quality of documentation relating to training of APD officers.”
Despite the study’s findings however, they felt the facts developed by the internal affairs and homicide investigations did not need to resort to a reinvestigation of those facts.
October 6, 2009: Acevedo said he plans to dig deeper into allegations that an internal affairs investigation into the shooting of Sanders was biased in favor of the officers involved, saying that an independent review released should be used as “a tool” in their own review of the fatal May shooting.
October 16, 2009: An email from an internal affairs investigator leaked and is raising questions about bias in the report regarding the Sanders shooting.
Detective Chris Dunn's attorney said his client meant no harm and was not siding with one side or another.
Assistant Chief David Carter said the system is working and that the department will investigate anyone or anything that poses a problem.
October 20, 2009: Austin police created a “special inquiry team” made up of four high-ranking officers: three lieutenants and a commander. The department is investigating its own internal investigation into the Sanders shooting after internal affairs officers are the subject of another internal investigation related to the shooting.
November 3, 2009: About 20 community members met to voice their concerns about the Austin Police Department in light of the Sanders shooting case. Members from the People's Forum and Concerned Citizens said from no-refusal blood draws to the use-of-force policy, APD is violating Austin citizens' civil rights.
November 4, 2009: Quintana’s disciplinary hearing results in a 15-day suspension from his job.
November 5, 2009: Dunn is fired for sending an internal email that raised concern about bias in the internal affairs investigation of Quintana surrounding Sanders' shooting.
November 5, 2009: Police announce an Police Activities League outreach program to youth from Central East Austin to start January 2010.
January 11, 2010: Quintana is arrested on a DWI charge.
February 16, 2010: A federal judge seals the report issued from an independent investigation into the Sanders shooting.
April 12, 2010: An arbitration hearing begins over Dunn's attempts to get his job back.
April 16, 2010: Dunn testifies on his behalf in his arbitration hearing.
May 8, 2010: Acevedo publicly denies accusations of a cover-up in the Sanders' investigation.
May 9, 2010: Texas Civil Rights Project director Jim Harrington publicly said the city is "manipulating information."
May 10, 2010: Citizens gather at City Hall to discuss allegations of a cover-up.
May 11, 2010: One year later, Sanders' family gathered for a memorial to mark the anniversary of his death.
May 13, 2010: City officials release the full report into the investigation.
June 25, 2010: A federal court makes a split ruling in the Sanders lawsuit.
July 9, 2010: City negotiators and the Sanders family reach a tentative agreement to settle the case out of court for $750,000.
July 20, 2010: Then-Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez said City Council should reject the $750,000 proposed settlement.
July 21, 2010: City Council votes on purchase of new dashboard cameras for the Police Department.
July 29, 2010 at 4:15 p.m.: City Council rejects the proposed settlement of $750,000.
June 18, 2011: Community activist Kathie Tovo defeats incumbent Randi Shade, which changes the balance of power on the City Council.
August 18, 2011: Council member Sheryl Cole says she plans to bring up a settlement agreement back to the council for consideration.
August 25, 2011: The council votes 5-2 to settle the Sanders case for $750,000. In a separate 6-0 vote, the council settles with the Smith family for $175,000.
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