Austin Police Officer lied about circumstances of an arrest – criminal charges may be coming

The Austin American Statesman carried a good article detailing that acting Austin Police Chief Cathy Ellison fired an officer Tuesday after she said the officer lied about the circumstances of an arrest that led to a man’s conviction.

Travis County Assistant District Attorney Patty Robertson said Learmonth remains under a criminal investigation.

According to the disciplinary memo, Learmonth stopped a car Smith was driving and arrested and charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession. He also arrested and charged Smith’s female passenger with tampering with evidence.

Internal affairs looked into the case, and Learmonth admitted during an interview with investigators that he had lied in his police report, according to the memo.

He also falsely wrote in reports that the female passenger tried to destroy evidence, an action that Learmonth’s patrol car video shows she never did.

“Officer Learmonth falsified his report and probable cause affidavits to bolster the charges,” the memo said. “He intentionally and knowingly placed false information in these documents, knowing it was unlawful to do so.”

The memo said that Learmonth’s actions were reported by local media, which discredited the department and that his actions “are unethical and taint the entire justice system.”

Learmonth’s credibility, will certainly be affected for all pending cases for which he participated.

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