Texas Police Officers Indicted on Official Oppression, Tampering Charges

LLANO, Texas — A Llano police chief and three of his officers, all on leave, turned themselves in at the Llano County Jail on Jan. 30 following indictments on charges of official oppression in connection with the alleged “unlawful arrest” of a resident, according to Llano County grand jury documents.

A fifth officer was indicted on an unrelated tampering with evidence charge.

The grand jury indicted officers Grant Harden, Aimee Shannon, and Jared Latta along with Chief Kevin Ratliff on charges in connection with the May 2, 2017, arrest of a Llano resident.

The court documents allege Harden made an arrest he “knew was unlawful.”

The indictment against Harden also alleged the officer falsified an offense report by leaving out information about the arrest location and that the resident “was forced out of his residence and arrested.”

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Shannon’s official oppression indictment also alleged the officer was “threatening to shoot (the arrestee) with a taser,” subjecting him to “mistreatment.”

Each faces charges of at least two counts of official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor. Harden also faces an additional charge of tampering with a government record, a state jail felony.

Ratliff’s and Latta’s indictments on official oppression charges alleged they knew the arrest of the resident to be “unlawful.”

The grand jury also handed down an indictment on a fifth officer, Melissa Sloan, on an unrelated charge in connection with a March 2017 incident.

In that tampering with evidence indictment, the court document alleged Sloan destroyed a digital recording that could have served as crime scene evidence.

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The document stated that, in doing so, she attempted to prevent crime scene evidence from being used in followup investigations, according to the Llano County District Clerk record.

Sloan was let go from the Llano Police Department in June 2017, according to officials.

Latta, Harden, Ratliff, and Shannon were booked in and released from the Llano County Jail on Jan. 30.

Harden was released on public recognizance bonds totaling $3,500.

Latta and Ratliff were each released on $1,000 surety bonds.

Shannon was released on surety bonds totaling $1,500.

Sloan was booked in to the San Saba County Jail on Jan. 31. Her release and bond information was pending magistration.

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Source: https://www.dailytrib.com/2018/01/31/llano-police-officers-indicted-official-oppression-tampering-charges/

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