STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
LLANO — An arrest video has surfaced that could shed new light on accusations against the Llano police chief and several Llano Police Department officers recently indicted and accused of “wrongful arrest” in a 2017 confrontation with a Llano resident.
After a Llano County grand jury indictment Jan. 30, Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff and Sgt. Jared Latta as well as officers Aimee Shannon and Grant Harden face official oppression charges connected to the May 2, 2017, arrest.
A social media video link sent to DailyTrib.com the weekend of March 3 chronicles the arrest of the Llano resident at the center of the accusations against the officers.
Supporters of the embattled peace officers posted a 15-minute video on a Facebook page alleging the images prove the officers are being “viciously attacked” as a result of the indictments and suspensions. According to the social media post, the video, taken from an officer’s body camera, was obtained through a public records request.
The nighttime video shows officers eventually coaxing Cory Nutt, suspected of public intoxication at the time, out of his RV and arresting him.
The video framing primarily displays the lower body of the suspect as he stands at the top of the steps inside his RV while the police chief and other officers can be heard ordering him to prepare to be arrested for failure to identify himself and refusing to follow the officers’ instructions to come of his home.
Excerpts of the video indicate the officers believe the suspect to be intoxicated, and, prior to the recorded interaction, the suspect allegedly engaged in an expletive-riddled confrontation with an off-duty officer in a pickup truck.
Nutt alleges in the video that he confronted the pickup truck driver because the motorist was driving in excess of the speed limit on the public roadway adjacent to his RV.
At one point in the interaction, the female officer, believed to be Shannon, pointed a Taser laser light at Nutt and told him she would use the Taser if he did not follow the officers’ instructions. As a result, Shannon’s indictment charge also alleges she subjected Nutt to “mistreatment.”
Following the incident and during a pending investigation by the 33rd/424th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Chief Ratliff and the officers were placed on paid leave from the Llano Police Department.
On Feb. 27, Ratliff was re-indicted with an additional charge of tampering with a government document.
Ratliff’s attorney, Austin Shell, said his client is not guilty of the allegations.
“Our official position is Chief Ratliff did nothing wrong,” Shell said. “The chief’s involvement de-escalated the situation and prevented Mr. Nutt from being Tasered, and the chief executed his duties as a police officer in the way we would want police to behave.”
The attorney added that his client would be “contesting the allegations very strongly.”
“(Ratliff) acted with care and candor, and, but for his involvement, Mr. Nutt could have been Tasered while standing in his camper and possibly fallen three feet to the ground and been injured,” the attorney added. “Based on what the chief knew when he arrived, he acted consistent with the law.”
Ratliff’s counsel also has asked for swift justice.
“We have filed a motion for speedy jury trial, and we’ve asked for a jury trial as soon as possible,” Shell added.
The case is scheduled to go before a judge May 29, according to court records.
District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee said he could not comment about the details of the incident or the indictments.
“While individuals may express views on social media and elsewhere, my office is not going to try the case through the media,” McAfee said. “I don’t think attempting to influence public opinion would be fair to the defendants or the criminal justice system in this case.”