Charges have been dropped against an Austin Police officer after a review of a March 2019 use-of-force incident found his actions were justified.

On Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney José Garza announced the pending indictment against APD Officer Gregory Gentry was dismissed “in the best interest of justice,” KXAN reports.

The release from Garza claims, during the previous administration, an Assistant District Attorney obtained an expert opinion that had evidence helpful to the defense. Garza says when the case was presented to a grand jury in January, that exculpatory evidence wasn’t discussed with the prosecution or disclosed to the defense.

A letter from Garza stated an expert concluded that Officer Gentry’s use of force was lawful.

“Upon review, we have decided that a dismissal of the indictment is the appropriate action to take in this case and best serves the interest of justice,” said District Attorney José Garza. “I offer my sincere apologies to Officer Gentry who undoubtedly suffered as a result of this process.”

Gentry was facing felony assault charges related to an incident in 2019 when he and fellow officer Chance Bretches attempted to stop what they believed was a narcotics deal.

According to APD, a fight ensued when Gentry and Bretches tried arresting one of the suspects — the suspect and officers were hurt during the scuffle in March 2019.

 

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