Anonymous complainant alleges that Austin police officers threatened to arrest peaceful protesters for "criminal trespass" on public property. The Office of Police Oversight recommends that this allegation receive an A classification.
Disclaimer: The following text was extracted from the PDF file to make this document more accessible. This machine-generated content may contain styling errors due to redactions. In some instances, text may not load if the original file is a scanned image or has not been made searchable. For the full version of the document, please view the PDF.
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
ICMS #: 2020-1069
June 24, 2020
Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint alleging
“I watched Austin Police Department officers threaten to arrest peaceful protesters for
"criminal trespass" on public property. Having read through the entire Austin City Code, I
am fairly sure there is zero ordinance basis for the alleged criminal offense. The only
potentially relevant offense in the Texas Penal Code would be §30.05, which appears to
apply only to private property and public property with legally restricted access. The area
that APD was threatening to arrest people for entering is a public area which has not had
restricted access until 06/21/2020 - even with the barriers in place, APD welcomed
protesters up onto the porch area in previous weeks. Here is a livestream video in which
literally zero legal authority to do so. APD officers are trying to intimidate protesters who
are exercising their first amendment rights when APD is 100% legally wrong. The only
bulletin-20111102.pdf) which was declared unconstitutional by a federal district judge
back in 2012 (https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/PN-TX-0003-0004.pdf).
This behavior by the Austin Police Department officers constitutes a violation of Texas
Penal Code Sec. 39.03. OFFICIAL OPPRESSION. "(a) A public servant acting under color
of his office or employment commits an offense if he: (2) intentionally denies or impedes
another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, knowing
his conduct is unlawful" because the officers specifically impeded protesters in the exercise
and enjoyment of their right to peacefully protest while the officers were acting under the
color of the police officers' office. This is Official Oppression and should be investigated
and presented to the District Attorney's office as such. This behavior also violates the
following Canons of Police Ethics listed in the APD General Orders Issued 6/1/2020:
Article 2: Limitations of Authority, Article 3: Duty to be Familiar with the Law and with
Responsibilities of Self and Other Public Officials, and Article 7: Conduct Toward the
Public. Additionally, their behavior violates sections 900.1.1 (Responsibility to know and
comply) and 900.3.2(a) (Acts bringing discredit upon the department) of the APD General
Orders. I don't want to be anonymous, but I am concerned about retaliation as a result of
this complaint so I must remain anonymous.”
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.