December 2, 2019

Formal complaint: Response to resistance

Complainant alleges that officers used excessive force and “left critical information out of” affidavits. 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 #: 2019-1192 Complaint: Complainant, , alleges he was initially struck by one Austin Police Department Narcotics Officer followed by being struck by other Narcotics officers when he was attempting to get on the ground as instructed by one of the officers, when “1 of the officers struck me in my face while other officers begin to strike me everywhere and I lost consciousness.” Mr. also alleges that the officers used excessive force and “left critical information out of” affidavits.” Administrative Policy to Review: 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. (a) Assessment shall be ongoing – As the circumstances of a situation change, the force necessary to affect a detention, arrest, search, or transportation of a subject or to protect officer or other persons from imminent harm may also change. Officers will therefore need to re-evaluate their determination of the appropriate response to resistance as circumstances change. (b) Officer Discretion - Understanding that no order can realistically predict every situation an officer might encounter, it is recognized that each officer must be entrusted with well-reasoned discretion in determining the objectively reasonable response to resistance in each incident. (c) Improvising Permitted - Circumstances may arise in which officers reasonably believe that it would be impracticable or ineffective to use a standard tool, weapon, or method provided by the Department. Officers may find it more effective or practicable to improvise their response to rapidly unfolding conditions they are confronting. In such circumstances, the use of any improvised device or method must still be objectively reasonable and used only to the extent which reasonably appears necessary to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose. (d) Injury to Officer Not Required - While it is the ultimate objective of every law 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 enforcement encounter to minimize injury to everyone involved, nothing in this order requires an officer to actually sustain physical injury before applying objectively reasonable force. (e) Reporting Required - Any complaint by a subject that an officer caused pain or injury shall be treated as a response to resistance force incident, except complaints of minor discomfort from unresisted handcuffing. 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 (b) To make an arrest or conduct a search under a warrant that the officer reasonably believes is valid. 900.3 GENERAL CONDUCT This section contains the expectations and requirements of employee conduct, both on- duty and off-duty, and causes for disciplinary action due to employee misconduct. This is not intended to cover every possible type of misconduct and does not preclude the recommendation of disciplinary action for specific action or inaction that is detrimental to efficient Department service. 900.3.1 HONESTY Honesty is of the utmost importance in the police profession. Employees are expected to be truthful at all times in the performance of their duties. (a) Employees will speak the truth at all times and reflect the truth in all reports and written communications. Any statement or omission of pertinent or material information which intentionally misrepresents facts or misleads others through an official statement will be considered a false official statement. The following are examples of an "official statement": 1. Documents prepared by an officer in connection with their official duties, including but not limited to incident reports or supplements, sworn affidavits, and citations. 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 2. Verbal or written statements made by an officer in connection with their official duties to: (a) An investigator conducting an administrative or criminal investigation of the officer or another person's conduct. (b) A supervisor conducting an inquiry into the officer's use of force. (c) A fact finder in an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding in which the officer testifies. (b) Employees who obtain their employment by willful misrepresentation or false statements may be dismissed from the Department. (c) Employees will not attempt to conceal, divert, or mitigate their true culpability in a situation, nor will they engage in efforts to thwart, influence, or interfere with an internal or criminal investigation. (d) Employees will not use any improper or dishonest means to affect the outcome of any official test, process, or procedure. 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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