August 10, 2020

Formal complaint: Impartial Attitude and Courtesy, Acts Bringing Discredit upon the Department, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an APD detective uses racial slurs and speaks ill of an African-American female custodian employed by APD. 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 #: 2020-1295 August 10, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint alleging the following: “With the mounting tensions and recent publications regarding systemic racism within APD I am compelled to come forward anonymously and memorialize the first hand knowledge of racism I have personally observed from a fellow officer. Detective has verbalized on many occasions racial slurs, particularly targeted at the African American ethnic group that was ethically, unprofessional and morally wrong. Detective suffers from privilege within the department and is favored on many levels. I have personally overheard Detective speak ill of an African American female custodian. Detective would speak about "silver back sighting" referring to the large AA female custodian who is described as having grey hair. Detective compared the custodian''s skin color, hair color and size to a silver back gorilla On many occasions. This occurred over a long period of time, spanning many months. Detective would update her close friends and cohorts about the times she had another "silverback sighting" and would also speak of discontent when using the restroom facility after the custodian. Although I have not worked with Detective directly I have nonetheless observed and experienced her privileges. It sickens me that she is able to make racial remarks and also concurrently hold a prestigious position within the department. Please look into this. I know she made the remakes while working with the homicide or robbery unit. The AA custodian works out if the main police building.” 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. 900.3.2 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 900.3.4 PERSONAL CONDUCT (c) While on-duty or on the premises of City facilities, employees will not: 1. Use loud, indecent, profane, harsh, derogatory language, or use belittling term in any communications. 2. Ridicule, mock, taunt, embarrass, humiliate, or shame any person, nor do anything that might incite that person to violence. 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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