March 12, 2021

Formal complaint: General policy, handcuffing detainees, and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that an officer answering a call for a stolen item ran a warrant check on the caller and arrested them. The Office of Police Oversight recommends that this allegation receive a B 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 #: 2021-0153 March 12, 2021 Complaint: Complainant alleges answered a call for a stolen item, ran a warrant check on the person who made the call, and arrested him. 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): 318.2 GENERAL POLICY (a) Officers will identify themselves when they initiate a duty-related contact with a person, when practicable, unless their identity is obvious. (b) Officers will explain the reason for the contact and the purpose of anticipated police action, when practicable. (c) Officers will act with as much restraint and courtesy toward persons interviewed, detained or arrested as is possible under the circumstances. 318.3.1 HANDCUFFING DETAINEES (a) As a practice, officers should not handcuff lawfully detained individuals. However, situations may arise where it may be reasonable to handcuff a lawfully detained individual. (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. (e) If not documented in a report, officers will document their justification for handcuffing a detainee for a limited investigation, with a Street Check/Field Interview report. 1. Officers will check “detained” in the Reason field dropdown list. 2. Officers will justify handcuffing the detainee in the Remarks field. 319.2.2 WARRANT HIT AND CONFIRMATION During the course of a lawful detention or arrest, an officer may run a subject for warrants. (a) When a "hit" is received on a local, TCIC or NCIC warrant inquiry, confirmation from APD or the originating agency must be obtained prior to taking official action. Confirmation shall be the authorization for placing the person in jail for the warrant. 1. The person may be detained until confirmation is made by APD or the originating agency. 2. Should circumstances make a custody arrest impractical, a person detained solely for a Class C warrant may be released with the approval of a supervisor. 3. If a warrant confirmation is not received within 10 minutes, the arresting officer may either release the subject or continue to await a response. 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 319.7.1 ASSISTING WITH OTHER AGENCIES WARRANT SERVICE (c) If an arrest of the wanted subject is made: 2. Warrant confirmation and any other warrant paperwork should be submitted with the booking sheet. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends that this allegation receive a B classification.
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