September 17, 2020

Formal Complaint: Acts Bringing Discredit Upon the Department and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an Austin police officer promoted insensitive racial 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 #: 2020-1447 September 17, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous complaint stating the following: “Police officer “liked” a picture circulating on Facebook in support of Kenosha murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse and killing “only” felons. This is a disgusting mindset and completely inappropriate for any police officer to have. This man should not be representative of Austin or APD.” 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. 972.2 POLICY 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 interest 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. 972.4 PROHIBITED SPEECH, EXPRESSION AND CONDUCT (b) Speech or expression that, while not made pursuant to an official duty, is significantly linked to, or related to, the Austin Police Department and tends to compromise or damage the mission, function, reputation or professionalism of the Austin Police Department or its employees. 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 900.1.1 RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND COMPLY The rules of conduct set forth in this order do not serve as an all-inclusive list of requirements, limitations, or prohibitions on employee conduct and activities; employees are required to know and comply with all Department policies, procedures, and written directives. 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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