September 17, 2020

Formal Complaint: Obedience to orders, Insubordination, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers harassed her minor son during a search for a suspect. 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 #: 2020-1074 September 17, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received a complaint from alleging that APD came to her home and was targeting her son. She states that her son opened the door after hearing a noise and officers told him he "fit the description" of a burglary. She also states that her son advised officers that he has a GPS ankle monitor and hadn’t gone anywhere. 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): 110.4.3 OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS The Department is an organization with a clearly defined hierarchy of authority. This is necessary because obedience of a superior's lawful command is essential for the safe and prompt performance of law enforcement operations. This section also applies to orders received by an employee in the field training program from a Field Training Officer (FTO). 110.4.4 INSUBORDINATION Employees will not be insubordinate. The willful disobedience of, or deliberate refusal to obey any lawful order of a supervisor is insubordination. Defying the authority of any supervisor by obvious disrespect, arrogant or disrespectful conduct, ridicule, or challenge to orders issued is considered insubordination whether done in or out of the supervisor's presence. 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. 317.5.2 WORKING WITH PARENTS A child's parent or guardian has personal legal responsibility for the child's welfare and behavior. The Department recognizes this responsibility and police officers will work with parents as closely as possible in interviewing children. Examples of procedures that help parents are: (a) Explaining a child's illegal or suspicious behavior as soon as possible. (b) Responding with patience and understanding to questions that are defensive or reflect a parent's fears about police procedures and the court system. (c) When reasonable, giving parents advance notice that their child will be interviewed or interrogated. 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 317.5.4 GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR INTERROGATING JUVENILES (a) Interrogations: An interrogation is the questioning of a juvenile who is suspected of a status or criminal offense. 1. On-scene Interrogation: Street interrogations should be avoided until after the juvenile can be processed unless it is absolutely necessary for the preliminary investigation. However, street interviews often present exigent circumstances that demand immediate action from the responding officer. Suspects, weapons and evidence may be lost if information is not immediately obtained. Officer safety, safety of the public, and the need to obtain basic information are considerations that patrol officers must deal with in making decisions regarding the street interrogation of a juvenile. The general rules of interrogation and admissibility of evidence apply to juveniles, with additional requirements existing for custodial interrogations. 328.3 MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES Every member of this Department shall perform his/her duties in a fair and objective manner and is responsible for promptly reporting any known instances of racial or bias-based profiling to a supervisor 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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