June 17, 2021

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

Complainant alleges they were assaulted by Austin police officers after being escorted to the hospital for observations. 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. 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. (b) Employees equipped with a Department issued BWC system must be trained in the operation of the equipment prior to its use. BWC equipment will be used in accordance with Department training and the BWC operations manual. (c) Unless otherwise authorized by the Chief of Police or his/her designee, BWC’s will be worn consistent with the training and manufacturer’s recommendations, in regards to fields of view and employee safety. Employees will adhere to the following dimensions for placement of the BWC: 1. From the center of the sternum, no more than four inches to the right or left on the outermost layer of clothing such that the camera has an unobstructed view. 2. No higher than four inches below the top button of the uniform shirt and no lower than six inches below the top button of the uniform shirt. 318.3.1 HANDCUFFING DETAINEES (c) Officers should weigh the safety interests of all involved individuals against unreasonable intrusion upon a detainee when deciding to place handcuffs on a detainee. (d) Unless arrested, handcuffing detainees at the scene of a search warrant should continue for only as long as is reasonably necessary to ensure the safety of officers and others. 318.6 FIELD PHOTOGRAPHS (a) Field photos should only be used for: 2. Identification of a subject's condition (e.g., injuries, tattoos, evidence stains on clothing, jewelry, distinctive clothing/shoe patterns). 318.6.5 SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITY While it is recognized that field photographs often become valuable investigative tools, supervisors should monitor such practices for compliance with Department General Orders. This is not to imply that supervisor approval is required before each photograph. 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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