June 17, 2020

Formal complaint: Purpose and scope—Community policing and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers used excessive force, tear gas and rubber bullets and behaved aggressively towards peaceful protesters. 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 #: 2020-1037 June 17, 2020 Complaint: ], complainant, submitted an online complaint to the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “Re: Police brutality and excessive use of force towards me (an adult female) and my 15- year-old daughter in the early evening on A line of police officers were on top of the , facing protesters to the . A young white male was walking back and forth in front of them chanting along with fellow protesters. At a lull in the chanting, the young man yelled at the cops, “Ya’ll should be ashamed of yourselves! Black Lives Matter!!” He then turned around, knelt down on the ground, and put both hands on his head and said, “Go ahead; arrest me.” The cop directly behind him rushed up to the kneeling protester and was within inches of his face when he started to pepper spray him, causing the surrounding protesters to yell out in disbelief. One lady rushed to the young protester and started pouring milk into his eyes, and as she was rendering aid, the cop started to pepper spray HER as well. Seeing this, I yelled out towards the cops, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THESE PEOPLE?? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???” I was facing towards the protesters when I yelled out, and at that moment Officer charged forward and rammed his baton into my left shoulder, knocking me off my feet and to the ground. [I have screenshots and video footage from the point of impact]. Seeing me get knocked to the ground, my teenage daughter yelled out, “DON’T F***ING TOUCH MY MOM!” and upon yelling this, an officer sprayed pepper spray directly into her eyes. She dropped to the ground and started screaming from the burn… Fellow protesters immediately swarmed both of us and picked us up saying, “They’re charging at us, we have to run!” I wrapped each arm around the two girls flanking me, and we hobbled up the hill as quickly as we could. There were dozens of people running up the embankment to get to safety, and as we did so, the officers were shooting at us- as we were running away. We were about 30 feet up the embankment when I felt a shearing pain in my ankle from the impact of a rubber bullet. Within seconds, we made it to safety and the people around us began treating our injuries- a group around my daughter and a separate group around me. As a volunteer medic was examining my ankle, a fellow protester, said to me, “I can’t believe that mother f***er shot you!” I said, “What??!?” and he said, “The dude that shoved you.. he shot you... that mf is crazy.” I just want to reiterate that at NO POINT did we pose ANY physical threat to the officers. When rammed into me, I wasn’t even facing towards him (I was facing the kneeling protester). We had nothing in our hands; we were not gesturing in any type of threatening way. What we experienced was the police ATTACKING US. NOTHING that took place before the attack justified their use of force. They were doing what they are inclined- and obviously feel very comfortable doing- unnecessarily using violent force, under the guise of their authority, to hurt us. And then even when we were all RUNNING AWAY FROM THEM (and NO threat to them whatsoever), they shot at us. It was absolutely disgusting. Protesting is the highest form of democracy, and yet the Austin Police force feels entitled to treat its citizens like the enemy. I have spent 20+ hours in downtown Austin protests. The incidents 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 I described above took place over a time period of roughly 5 minutes… It was just a tiny snapshot of what my daughter and I witnessed over and over and over again- police officers demonstrating thuggish, aggressive behavior towards protesters, with no concern whatsoever for peoples’ safety. We witnessed dozens of incidents of police brutality- cops shooting rubber bullets directly at protesters who were 20 feet away with their hands in the air; cop ‘lines’ bulldozing over people; cops shoving teenagers (usually girls) to the ground (one officer even grabbed a girl and threw her behind the line of police). What horrible irony that a community gathered together to PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY, only to be met with MORE POLICE BRUTALITY.”
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