The Austin Police Department is aware that a Travis County Grand Jury indicted Officers Greg Gentry and Chance Bretches for an incident that occurred in March of 2019. Officers were engaged in a drug interdiction operation in response to a recent complaint regarding increased drug activity and recent shooting incidents. Officers observed two subjects, one who appeared to be engaging in multiple narcotics transactions, and approached the subjects to investigate. As officers approached, the second subject was taken into custody, however the subject observed in suspected narcotics dealing did not comply with officers directions and resisted their attempts to secure him in handcuffs. A significant struggle ensued as the officer’s attempted to overcome the suspect’s resistance, resulting in injuries to both the suspect and the officers. The suspect was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. This incident was presented to the Grand Jury and resulted in the two indictments.
This incident was reviewed in accordance with APD policy in 2019 and the officers’ actions were deemed compliant with policy and training. This review included members of the APD Executive Team, the Special Investigations Unit (for compliance with criminal statute), and the Force Review Board (who reviewed the incident from a tactics and training perspective). The Office of Police Oversight reviewed this incident on April 19, 2019, including video of the incident, with members of the APD Executive Team. Additionally, APD staffed this case with the former District Attorney and based on the Department’s findings that the officers’ conduct was within policy, the case was not forwarded to the DA’s Civil Rights Division.
APD respects the role the Grand Jury holds in the criminal justice process and will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office as needed on this case. As with anyone charged with an offense, these officers are presumed innocent unless found guilty through the criminal process. In respect of their right to a fair trial, we will not be commenting further. Both officers have been placed on administrative duty at this time and will remain in that status through the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.