June 26, 2020

Formal Complaint: Obedience to orders- insubordination and other policy violations

Complainant alleges that his girlfriend had bruises following an arrest by APD. The OPO recommends that this allegation receive an A 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 #: 2020-0556 June 26, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received a phone complaint from stating that his girlfriend got arrested and had bruises all over her body and alleging that the officer had to have done something to her. 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): 110.4.3 OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS The Department is an organization with a clearly defined hierarchy of authority. This is necessary because obedience of a superior's lawful command is essential for the safe and prompt performance of law enforcement operations. This section also applies to orders received by an employee in the field training program from a Field Training Officer (FTO). 110.4.4 INSUBORDINATION Employees will not be insubordinate. The willful disobedience of, or deliberate refusal to obey any lawful order of a supervisor is insubordination. Defying the authority of any supervisor by obvious disrespect, arrogant or disrespectful conduct, ridicule, or challenge to orders issued is considered insubordination whether done in or out of the supervisor's presence. 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. 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 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 him. 200.3.2 USE OF FORCE TO AFFECT A DETENTION, AN ARREST OR TO CONDUCT A SEARCH An officer is justified in using reasonable force when the officer reasonably believes the use of such force is immediately necessary (Tex. Penal Code § 9.51(a)): (a) To make or assist in a detention or an arrest, or to conduct a search that the officer reasonably believes is lawful; (b) To prevent or assist in preventing escape after an arrest, provided the officer reasonably believes the arrest or search is lawful; or (c) To make an arrest or conduct a search under a warrant that the officer reasonably believes is valid. 206.6 PAIN COMPLIANCE TECHNIQUES Pain compliance techniques may be effective in controlling a passive or actively resisting individual. Officers may only apply those pain compliance techniques for which the officer has an objectively reasonable belief that the use of such a technique appears necessary to further a legitimate law enforcement purpose. 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. (b) Supplements shall be completed by: 1. All other employees who are involved in a force incident. 2. Employees who witness a force incident. 3. Employees assisting at the scene of a force incident. 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 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 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. 801.3 UNIFORM GUIDELINES Sworn employees wear a uniform to be identified as the law enforcement authority in society. The uniform also serves to identify the wearer as a source of assistance in an emergency, crisis or other time of need. Some civilian employees also wear a uniform to be identified as part of a specific assignment (e.g., crime scene, victim services). (a) All sworn employees shall possess and maintain a serviceable uniform and the necessary equipment to perform uniformed field duty at all times. Recommended Classification: The OPO is permitted to make a preliminary recommendation on the classification of administrative cases. The OPO recommends that this allegation receive an A classification.
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