November 3, 2020

Formal complaint: Purpose and scope and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an Austin police officer posted threats against community members 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 #: 2020-1493 November 3, 2020 Complaint: Complainant, , filed an online complaint with the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “There was a post on by that threatened retaliation against all residents, business, and tourist for the Council's decision to defund the police. I believe this must be thoroughly investigated and this officer needs to be fired, along with anyone else who feels this way. The public should not be threatened with a retaliatory withdrawal if police protection. We need to hire better, train better, supervise better, and fire better. We need people with a sense of duty and decency. People who serve and protect without being such a retaliatory bully. We should not have to deal with a trumper when we are in an emergency situation. His post stirred up more hate against Democrats and BLM. We are already being attacked for wearing mask. Minorities are being attacked by trumpers and now trumper cops are adding to the abuse.” 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): 105.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – COMMUNITY POLICING The purpose of this general order is to identify the tenets of Community Policing, which serves as the basis for this Department’s mission and guiding principles. Community Policing is beyond a philosophy, it is a practice. The Austin Police Department is committed to Community Policing which strives to build mutual respect, collaborative partnerships, fair and impartial policing, and procedurally just behavior with the community that we serve. The Department’s goal is to have an understanding of the traditions, culture, and history of the neighborhoods in which they serve in order to develop proactive solutions to problems and increase overall trust in policing. Likewise, the Department is required to provide information and training to the community so community members gain an understanding of police practices and procedures, as well as an understanding of the traditions and culture of law enforcement. 301.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMMUNITY 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. 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 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 – 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. 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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