March 12, 2021

Formal complaint: When department issued BWC system use is required, When DMAV use is required, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that he was forcefully removed from his car, given a ticket for incorrect reasons, and given incomplete BWC footage when he requested it. The Office of Police Oversight recommends that this allegation receive a B 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 #: 2021-0196 March 12, 2021 Complaint: Complainant alleges being forcefully removed from his car following a traffic stop after Officer became aware that had a gun in the car. Complainant alleges the officer was rude to him and felt like the he was coming up with reasons to give him citations. Complainant has requested BWC footage but received incomplete footage. Complainant would like to know if there was a use of force report filed. Complainant alleges reasons for the ticket given were incorrect. 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): 303.3.1 WHEN DEPARTMENT ISSUED BWC SYSTEM USE IS REQUIRED This section is not intended to describe every possible situation where the system may be used. In some circumstances it may not be possible to capture images of an incident due to conditions or location of the camera, however the audio portion can be valuable evidence and is subject to the same activation requirements. The BWC should only be activated for law enforcement purposes. (a) All units responding to a scene shall activate their department issued BWC equipment when they: 1. Arrive on-scene to any call for service. (b) Examples of when the department issued BWC system must be activated include, but are not limited to: 1. Traffic stops. (e) There may be instances in which an employee is required to take immediate action in response to an event which may not allow time to activate their BWC. In those situations, it may be impractical or unreasonable for employees to activate their BWC system before taking police action. It is expected that once the immediacy of the situation is over, employees will activate their BWC system to record the remainder of the incident. Employees shall articulate the reasoning for the delayed activation of their BWC in an offense report, supplement, or other form of Department approved documentation. 304.3.2 WHEN DMAV USE IS REQUIRED This order is not intended to describe every possible situation where the system may be used. In some circumstances it is not possible to capture images of the incident due to conditions or location of the camera however the audio portion can be valuable evidence and is subject to the same activation requirements. (a) All units responding to a scene shall activate their DMAV equipment when they: 1. Arrive on-scene to any call for service 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 (b) Examples of when the DMAV system must be activated include, but are not limited to: 1. Traffic stops. 200.2.1 ASSESSMENT AND DE-ESCALATION As officers arrive on the scene, observe conditions, and interact with the persons there, they should continue to gather additional relevant information and facts. These assessments, along with reasonable inferences help to develop an understanding of the totality of the circumstances of the incident. 200.5 REPORTING THE RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE Any response to resistance by a member of this department shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately in an appropriate report as prescribed by General Order 211 (Response to Resistance Inquiry, Reporting, and Review). 200.5.1 NOTIFICATION TO SUPERVISORS Supervisor notification shall be made as soon as practicable following any force incident or allegation of force. 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. (c) Employees will make every effort to be courteous and respectful toward all persons. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends that this allegation receive a B classification.
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