November 5, 2021

Formal complaint: De-escalation of potential force encounters and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that Austin police officers falsely accused their minor child and used excessive force. 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 #: 2021-1039 November 5, 2021 Complaint: The complainant alleges: “My son was beat up by apd on . He is a minor 16 years old. False charges applied to him. I have proof and a witness stating who’s gun it was. My compliant is police brutality and violation of his constitutional rights. My name is phone number .” 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 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. Nothing in this de-escalation policy requires an officer to place themselves in harm’s way to attempt to de-escalate a situation. Recognizing that circumstances may rapidly change, officers may need to abandon de-escalation efforts after they have commenced. Understanding that no policy can realistically predict every situation an officer might encounter, the Department recognizes that each officer must be entrusted with well-reasoned discretion in determining the reasonable de-escalation techniques to use in a situation. This de-escalation policy is intended to complement, not replace or supersede, other portions of the APD Policy Manual or specific officer training that addresses de-escalation. 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. 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. 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 them. 206.4 CHEMICAL AGENT GUIDELINES Chemical agents are devices used to minimize the potential for injury to employees, offenders, or other subjects. They should be used only in situations where such force reasonably appears necessary. 206.4.1 PROHIBITED USES The following are prohibited uses of chemical agents: (a) To torture, psychologically torment, elicit statements or inflict undue pain on any individual. (b) Horseplay or practical jokes. (c) Demonstrations without the permission of a supervisor. (d) When a subject exhibits only verbal and/or passive resistance to arrest or authority. (e) When a subject is under physical restraint unless the subject is still aggressively resisting and lesser means of controlling the subject have failed. 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. 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. 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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