GRAHAM (KFDX/KJTL) — A former Graham K9 officer is now indicted on a third-degree felony charge of tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.
According to the Graham Leader, this comes after an arrest of a female in June. It says the indictment alleges 33-year-old Austin Lee Lawrence intentionally concealed evidence, illegal controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, with the intent to impair its availability as evidence in an investigation.
A warrant was issued August 12 by the 90th Judicial District Court.
Lawrence turned himself in to the Park County Sheriff’s Office on August 23 and is out on a $10,000 bond.
Graham Police Chief Brent Bullock released the following statement:
“The Graham Police Department expects all officers employed to act responsibly and obey the laws they are sworn to enforce. We hold our oficers to a higher standard and expect more of our offiers than the average citizens. When incidents arise, like in Mr. Lawrence’s case, we take immediate action regardless of who that persron is.
In today’s times, it is imperative for the public to trust the police. We will never be able to truly serve our community if there is no trust. In this case as soon as we were made aware of the alleged violaction of the law, Mr. Lawrence was placed on leave, and we immediately notified the Texas Rangers and requested they investigate. Shortly after we requested the investigation, we contacted the District Attorney’s Office.
We will never investigate one of our own officers when a criminal violation of the law is suspected or reported. Those investigations are turned over to the Texas Rangers. This allows for a complete outside independent investigation with total transparency from our department. We do internal investigations on our officers for policy violations, conduct that is unprofessionla or on valid complaints from citizens.”