February 5, 2021

Formal Complaint: Duty to Intercede, De-Escalation of Potential Force Encounters, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers escalated force against him by pepper spraying him after he had called for police to break up a fight. 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 #: 2021-0035 February 5, 2021 Complaint: The complainant, , alleges: The complainant is a bar manager on 6th street and had a patron who got physical with him. He attempted to restrain the individual and another individual also attempted to get physical with him and they were also restrained. The complainant said once police arrived there was no effort to establish command presence and he was pepper sprayed in the face. The complainant is upset that force was escalated toward him and that the officers did not do anything to break up the fight. The complainant requested to speak with a supervisor and wanted to get the badge number of the individual who pepper sprayed him in the face. The complainant waited 26 or 27 minutes for the badge number and name of the officer who escalated force against him. The supervisor, , did not give him the information he requested multiple times. He also let Corporal know that he would like to file a complaint on the officer. Corporal said he does not do that and that he could call the Office of Police Oversight. 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): 200.1.3 DUTY TO INTERCEDE Any officer who observes another officer using force shall intercede to prevent further harm if the officer knows that the force being used is not objectively reasonable and the officer has a reasonable opportunity to prevent the harm. Such officers must also promptly report these observations to a supervisor. 200.2 DE-ESCALATION OF POTENTIAL FORCE ENCOUNTERS When safe and reasonable under the totality of circumstances, officers shall use de-escalation techniques to reduce the likelihood for force and increase the likelihood of voluntary compliance. 200.3 RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE While the type and extent of force may vary, it is the policy of this department that officers use only that amount of objectively reasonable force which appears necessary under the circumstances to successfully accomplish the legitimate law enforcement purpose in accordance with this order. 200.3.1 DETERMINING THE OBJECTIVE REASONABLENESS OF FORCE Any interpretation of objective reasonableness about the amount of force that reasonably appears to be necessary in a particular situation must allow for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving, and the amount of time available to evaluate and respond to changing circumstances may influence their decisions. The question is whether the officer's actions are "objectively reasonable" in light of the facts and circumstances confronting him. 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 206.4.3 TREATMENT FOR CHEMICAL AGENT EXPOSURE Subjects who have been affected by the use of chemical agents should be afforded means of cleansing the affected areas as soon as practicable. Those subjects who complain of further severe effects shall be afforded a medical examination by competent medical personnel. 211.4.1 EMPLOYEE REPORTING GUIDELINES FOR ALL FORCE LEVEL INCIDENTS The following outlines the reporting guidelines for involved employees, employees that witness an incident and employees designated to assist at the scene of any response to resistance incident. 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. 303.3 DEPARTMENT ISSUED BODY WORN CAMERA BWC equipment is to be used primarily by uniformed personnel as authorized per assignment by the Department and must be used unless otherwise authorized by a Commander or above. 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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