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APD to review 'command and control' of undercover Occupy operation

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While backing the actions of undercover officers at Occupy Austin, a spokesperson with the Austin Police Department announced Wednesday the department will be conducting an internal review of the “command and control” of the operation.

Assistant Police Chief David Carter said at a press conference he believed the officers acted in good faith when building so-called “lock boxes” for members of Occupy Austin, but it was not clear if APD supervisors were aware of the plan.

The Occupy members who used the “lock boxes”—devices made of PVC, chain and padlock—at the Port of Houston in December were arrested and charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a state jail felony.

Assistant Chief Carter said that the department’s executive staff only became aware of the plan when it was revealed to the public as part of the criminal trial out of Houston.

Earlier Wednesday, at a pre-trial hearing for Ronnie Garza, one of the Occupiers arrested and charged with the state jail felony, an attorney for the Austin Police Department handed over requested internal communications regarding the undercover operation at Occupy Austin.

Judge Joan Campbell now has three weeks to review the still confidential material to determine what can be used by the defense.

Garza’s attorney, Greg Gladden, said the Austin officers are guilty of the state jail felonies, not the Occupiers.

Assistant Chief Carter said that once the department finished its internal review, the findings will be revealed to the public.

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