Chief Orders Evidence Removed from Austin Police Custody

Austin Police Chief Stan Knee requested that blood and urine
samples be seized by the district attorney for ‘safe keeping’ after a
second round of tests from a slain police suspect contradicted last
month’s findings that the 18-year-old was drug free the night he was shot in the back and killed.

"The Austin Police Department is disturbed by the inconsistent
findings," said a statement posted at the police department web
site. The statement does not say which drugs were found or in
what amounts.

"Immediately upon being notified of the results, I contacted the
District Attorney’s Office and urged them to seize the blood and urine
evidence and send it to a third party laboratory for analyses," said
the statement from the Chief. "They have agreed to do this. We have
also notified the Federal Bureau of Investigations of this event."

One television station reported that "suspicions were confirmed" when
the second test was reported, but which suspicions were
confirmed? Suspicions that the victim was involved with
drugs? Suspicions that the truth of the incident may never be
known? Suspicions concerning the pattern of police irregularities
in this case?

"Since this case remains under investigation by both the Travis County
Grand Jury and the U.S. Department of Justice, our ability to comment
is limited," concluded the statement from Knee.

For more on the incident, see Dove Springs Speaks about Rocha in our archives of June 2005.

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