November 5, 2021

Formal complaint: Assessment and de-escalation and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an Austin police officer was unprofessional when he towed the complainant's vehicle, despite the fact the car was parked outside the complainant's residence. OPO recommends this complaint receive a B classification.

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NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT 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. ICMS #: 2021-1014 November 5, 2021 Complaint: The complainant alleges: “Officer unprofessionally made the decision to tow my vehicle which was right in front of my apartment, after I told him numerous times to leave it in the carport in my apartment complex or to tow it to a auto shop of my choice but the officer refused to listen, give me and or offer that decision to me. My vehicle was towed miles away from where I reside, I do not have the funds or the monetary support to retrieve my vehicle now because of the discourteous and unprofessionally decision that was made by the officer, when I tried to speak to the tow truck driver the officer aggressively removed me from approaching him and placed me under arrest aggressively, I had two seizures in police custody and the cuffs were placed so tightly I now suffer neurological issues on my wrists. This is now not just costing me hundreds in towing costs but thousands now in combination of medical bills and transportation costs I don’t have and I’m suffering from at the moment” This notice of formal complaint is a request for Internal Affairs to initiate an investigation 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): 200.2.1 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. (b) Use of De-escalation Techniques – Employing de-escalation techniques may involve securing additional resources, tactical repositioning, and employing verbal persuasion. 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 NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT 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. 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 them. (a) When determining whether to apply any level of force and evaluating whether an officer has used objectively reasonable force, a number of factors should be taken into consideration. These factors include, but are 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 shall provide equal and fair protection of all rights under local, state, and federal law for all members of the community. Law enforcement will be conducted in an impartial and equitable manner. In an effort to create an organizational culture that is inclusive and nondiscriminatory, employees shall act professionally, treat all persons fairly and equally, and strive to interact with the community in a positive manner. Employees will perform all duties objectively and without regard to personal feelings, animosities, friendships, financial status, occupation or employment status, sex, disability status, housing status, mental health or ability, citizenship, language, national origin, creed, color, race, religion, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, or social or ethnic background. Employees will endeavor to understand and respect cultural, national, racial, religious, physical, mental, and other differences. 303.3.3 WHEN DEPARTMENT ISSUED BWC SYSTEM DEACTIVATION IS AUTHORIZED Once the BWC system is activated it shall remain on until the incident has concluded or until deactivation is permissible in accordance with this order. NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT 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. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends this complaint receive a B classification.
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