Written by attorney James Morris Balagia

Austin Police Department Backstabs Officer

Is anyone surprised that Quintana drank alcohol after going through the deposition exercise? Officer Quintana had to face a grueling six hour cross examination by a seasoned attorney attempting to find fault with every action taken by the officer on a day Quintana wishes never happened. I question why the Austin Police Department didn't make sure that Quintana was emotionally and psychologically stable when he left his attorneys that day. It doesn't surprise me one bit that Quintana started drinking due to the pressure he was under. Knowing how the Austin Police Department eats its wounded I am not surprised by Quintana's firing. This is more than a sad event for the APD- it is a disgrace. Cops aren't super human and they aren't above making mistakes. I have never taken another person's life. I don't know how I would have reacted had I been placed in Quintana's position at the scene of the shooting or after experiencing the mental attacks he underwent at the deposition. I do know that whatever APD did for officer Quintana was not enough. Why wasn't someone assigned to keep an eye on Quintana that evening? Quintana will have to live with his actions, right or wrong, for the rest of his life. He would not have been subjected to all of this if he hadn't taken on the responsibility of being an Austin police officer. The Austin police department owes him more than the manner that they are treating Quintana. The citizens of Austin owe him more than that. May God bless Officer Quintana and be his shield and protector during this time. The full story is here - Officer in Sanders shooting fired after drunken driving arrest By Tony Plohetski Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo today fired the officer who fatally shot Nathaniel Sanders II last year after the officer's drunken driving arrest in January, according to two people at the hearing. An attorney representing Senior Police Officer Leonardo Quintana said the termination is the first for an officer after a first-offense drunken driving charge in at least a decade. Lawyer Tom Stribling said Quintana would appeal. The Jan. 12 arrest came after Quintana was questioned for nearly six hours as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit into the shooting of Sanders, said Adam Loewy, an attorney representing the Sanders family. Quintana fatally shot Sanders outside an apartment complex on Springdale Road last year after officials said Sanders reached for a gun. Quintana was suspended for 15 days in November for not activating his patrol-car camera before stopping Sanders, but he was found to have complied with the department's use-of-force policy during the incident. Sgt. Wayne Vincent, president of the Austin Police Association, said the firing "is very sad." "That's pretty much all we can say at this point," he said. "We don't agree or disagree. It was within the chief's discretion, and the officer has the option open to him to appeal." Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he thinks Acevedo's decision was appropriate. "But it is a bit late," Linder said. "We think Quintana should have been fired last year because of excessive force."

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