October 4, 2021

Formal complaint: De-escalation of potential force encounters, Response to resistance, Employee responsibilities for all force level incidents, and Employee reporting guidelines for all force level incidents

The complainant alleges that an Austin police officer on horseback grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him to the ground without cause. 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 #: 2021-0972 October 4, 2021 Complaint: The complainant alleges: “Thrown to the ground by an officer on a horse while trying to avoid being hit by horse. I saw officers coming by on and the moment I realized it was too late to walk away I held and ducked my head in between officers as they were riding by but instead a officer grabbed my shirt and yanked me on the ground as if I was a criminal. I did nothing wrong I was just letting the officers go by on the horses and was assaulted.” 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. 200.3 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. 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. 211.4 EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ALL FORCE LEVEL INCIDENTS The following outlines the required responsibilities of involved employees, employees that witness an incident, and employees designated to assist at the scene of any response to resistance incident. If a juvenile is in custody related to the incident, the juvenile should not be interviewed unless the juvenile has been brought before a magistrate. 211.4.1 EMPLOYEE REPORTING GUIDELINES FOR ALL FORCE LEVEL INCIDENTS The following outlines the reporting guidelines for involved employees, employees that witness an incident and employees designated to assist at the scene of any response to resistance incident. 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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