November 12, 2020

Formal Complaint: Impartial attitude and courtesy, General conduct, Acts bringing discredit upon the department

Complainant alleges that an Austin police officer promoted racially insensitive material on social media. The Office of Police Oversight recommends that this allegation receive an A classification.

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The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT ICMS #: 2020-1682 November 12, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an online anonymous complaint alleging the following: “Officer has openly posted racist remarks. In a recent Facebook post he is shown doing the white supremacy hand gesture. This is 100% not okay for a police officer to be a white supremacist/ racist. I’m sure he regularly profiles individuals.” This notice of formal complaint is a request for Internal Affairs to initiate an investigation in order to determine if the employee conduct is within compliance of APD policy, Civil Service Rules, and Municipal Civil Service Rules. Recommended Administrative Policies to Review (to include but not limited to): 301.2 IMPARTIAL ATTITUDE AND COURTESY Employees are expected to act professionally, treat all persons fairly and equally, and perform all duties impartially, objectively, and equitably without regard to personal feelings, animosities, friendships, financial status, sex, creed, color, race, religion, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or social or ethnic background. 900.3 GENERAL CONDUCT This section contains the expectations and requirements of employee conduct, both on-duty and off-duty, and causes for disciplinary action due to employee misconduct. This is not intended to cover every possible type of misconduct and does not preclude the recommendation of disciplinary action for specific action or inaction that is detrimental to efficient Department service. 900.3.2 ACTS BRINGING DISCREDIT UPON THE DEPARTMENT Since the conduct of personnel both on-duty or off-duty may reflect directly upon the Department, employees must conduct themselves at all times in a manner which does not bring reproach, discredit, or embarrassment to the Department or to the City. 900.3.3 PROHIBITED ASSOCIATIONS (e) Employees will not knowingly associate with any person or organization which advocates hatred, prejudice, or oppression of any person or group or which disseminates such material. (f) Employees will not become a member of any organization, association, movement, or group which advocates the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the United States or which seeks to alter the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means. The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT 900.3.4 PERSONAL CONDUCT (c) While on-duty or on the premises of City facilities, employees will not: 5. Post or display derogatory, offensive or lewd pictures which degrade or lower the self-esteem of fellow employees and would undermine the goal of professionalism within APD. 972.2 POLICY – EMPLOYEE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING Public employees occupy a trusted position in the community, and thus, their statements have the potential to contravene the orders and performance of this department. Due to the nature of the work and influence associated with the law enforcement profession, it is necessary that employees of this department be subject to certain reasonable limitations on their speech and expression. To achieve its mission and efficiently provide service to the public, the Austin Police Department will carefully balance the individual employee's rights against the Department's needs and interests when exercising a reasonable degree of control over its employees' speech and expression. This policy is not intended to restrict employee speech that is protected by the First Amendment. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends that this allegation receive an A classification.
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