November 12, 2020

Formal complaint: Duty to intercede, De-escalation of potential force encounters, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers used excessive force against them, resulting in multiple injuries. 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 #: 2020-1683 November 12, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received a signed affidavit alleging the following: “The law slammed me and did me wrong he probably kicked me or some because the next day I was bruised up and I was injured badly my hip done is poppin out and I can’t bend over, stretch run or when I try to sleep it hurts my elbow is hurting to and my whole left side was all bruised up I’m just a teenager they shouldn’t had did that he was being racist… he slammed me most likely kicked me or some threw me to the ground and mess up my hip and elbow” 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): 200.1.3 DUTY TO INTERCEDE Any officer who observes another officer using force shall intercede to prevent further harm if the officer knows that the force being used is not objectively reasonable and the officer has a reasonable opportunity to prevent the harm. Such officers must also promptly report these observations to a supervisor. 200.2 DE-ESCALATION OF POTENTIAL FORCE ENCOUNTERS When safe and reasonable under the totality of circumstances, officers shall use de-escalation techniques to reduce the likelihood for force and increase the likelihood of voluntary compliance. 200.3 RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE While the type and extent of force may vary, it is the policy of this department that officers use only that amount of objectively reasonable force which appears necessary under the circumstances to successfully accomplish the legitimate law enforcement purpose in accordance with this order. 200.3.1 DETERMINING THE OBJECTIVE REASONABLENESS OF FORCE Any interpretation of objective reasonableness about the amount of force that reasonably appears to be necessary in a particular situation must allow for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving, and the amount of time available to evaluate and respond to changing circumstances may influence their decisions. The question is whether the officer's actions are "objectively reasonable" in light of the facts and circumstances confronting him. 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. 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 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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