September 17, 2020

Formal complaint: Purpose and scope and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an Austin police officer posted a personal attack against him on social media, resulting in harassment against the complainant. 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 #: 2020-1457 September 17, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, filed an online complaint with the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “Officer in charge of bike patrol posted an attack on Facebook directed at and me being an employee has had a dramatic impact on my daily life. I’m receiving death threats over the phone. I’m constantly receiving hate calls because of his extreme lack of professionalism and judgment. He has directly placed me in harm. This was done intentionally And without disregard to all the employees that he’s endangered.” 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): 301.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE All persons deserve protection by fair and impartial law enforcement and should be able to expect similar police response to their behavior wherever it occurs. Employees will serve the public through direction, counseling, assistance, and protection of life and property. Employees will be held accountable for the manner in which they exercise the authority of their office or position. Employees will respect the rights of individuals and perform their services with honesty, sincerity, courage, and sound judgment. 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. 900.1.1 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. 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. 900.3.4 PERSONAL CONDUCT (c) While on-duty or on the premises of City facilities, employees will not: 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 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. 972.2 POLICY – EMPLOYEE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING 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 interests 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. 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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