August 13, 2021

Formal complaint: Policy and general considerations

The complainant alleges that Austin police officers mishandled a situation that distressed her and her minor grandchildren. She alleges that the officers were disrespectful and did not provide sufficient interpretation services. OPO recommends this complaint receive a B classification.

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NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT the law stated and that they couldn’t do anything about it. When this happened, I told them that if anything happened to my grandkids it was their responsibility. That CPS had told me that the police couldn’t force the kids to leave if they didn’t want too. I am scared for my grandkids, their step mother is violent and has a criminal record. My son is an alcoholic who isn’t being responsible and putting his children’s well being before anything. My son hasn’t let my grandkids reach out to me, I’m worried for their safety. I am not happy with how these officers handled this situation. They were rude, mean and very disrespectful towards the situation especially since it involved kids. I felt discriminated by officer because I did not speak English. The situation caused me to have a panic attack and I ended up at the hospital.” 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): 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 NOTICE OF FORMAL COMPLAINT expression, ethnicity, or social or ethnic background. Employees will endeavor to understand and respect cultural, national, racial, religious, physical, mental, and other differences. 404.2 POLICY The Austin Police Department recognizes that a law enforcement presence at a civil dispute can play an important role in the peace and safety of the community. Subject to available resources, officers of this department will assist at the scene of civil disputes with the primary goal of safeguarding persons and property, preventing criminal activity and maintaining the peace. When handling civil disputes, officers will remain impartial, maintain a calm presence, give consideration to all sides and refrain from giving legal or inappropriate advice. 404.3 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS When appropriate, officers handling a civil dispute should encourage the involved parties to seek the assistance of resolution services or take the matter to the civil courts. Officers must not become personally involved in disputes and shall at all times remain impartial. 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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