June 4, 2020

Formal complaints OPO processed on June 4: Purpose and scope—community policing and other policy violations

Complainants allege that Austin Police officers were aggressive and used excessive force from pepper spray, tear gas, and "less lethal" weaponry, including bean bags and rubber bullets, that resulted in injuries. The OPO recommends this allegation receive an A classification.

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P.O. BOX 1088, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78767 WWW.ATXPOLICEOVERSIGHT.ORG EMAIL: POLICEOVERSIGHT@AUSTINTEXAS.GOV PHONE: 512.974.9090 | TTY: 711 | FAX: 512.974.6306 COMPLAINT HOTLINE: 512-972-2676 Office of Police Oversight Formal Complaints: June 1 to June 10, 2020 Between May 29th, 2020 and June 10, 2020, The Office of Police Oversight was contacted 895 times regarding complaints against the Austin Police Department. • 107 by online form • 387 by phone • 401 by email Of these, the Office of Police Oversight is recommending 227 complaints for formal investigation by the Internal Affairs division of the Austin Police Department. The 227 formal complaints are representative of 606 individuals who contacted the Office of Police Oversight to file a complaint. Due to the sheer volume of these complaints, the Office of Police Oversight has compiled complaints by date. • June 1, 2020: 35 • June 2, 2020: 45 • June 3, 2020: 44 • June 4, 2020: 33 • June 5, 2020: 26 • June 8, 2020: 13 • June 9, 2020: 21 • June 10, 2020: 10 Complaints are redacted to remove personal or identifying information. If you have any questions, please email policeoversight@austintexas.gov. 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 #: 2020-0832 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “On , 16-year-old was standing alone and unarmed on a hilltop. Then he was shot in the face with a "less than lethal" round by an APD sniper. As a teenager, I have a responsibility to make the world a better place: to make my community a better place. I do not want to live in a community shrouded in the violent atmosphere created by the aggression of the police department in Austin. You attacked a peaceful protestor. You attacked a teenager. APD is solely responsible. APD will never be able to take back the damage done to : you have scarred him, and other Austinite teenagers, for life. End the use of "less than lethal" rounds immediately. They have no place in our community. It is a disgrace to the concept of liberty that you would believe such an action is justified. Shame on you.” 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 #: 2020-0833 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Ms. , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “I believe that what happened to was unlawful. Innocent peaceful protesters should not be getting shot in the head with bean bags. is 16 years old and his life will never be the same. He had to have emergency surgery and is now staying in the neurological wing at the hospital. I am also on the frontlines, but instead I work at a local hospital with neuro patients and so therefore I know this kid has a long life changing road of recovery ahead for him. I believe that the officer responsible, Officer , should be charged with attempted murder. is just a young man, our future. Please do better? I am proud to say that I am a Texan but even prouder to say that I am an Austinite. Our community deserves better.” 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 #: 2020-0834 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “On , 20-year-old was simply standing in protest, when he was shot in the base of the skull with rubber bullets by an APD sniper. APD also fired on volunteer medical worker as they tried to administer first aid. The gross negligence of APD has been clear. You shot . You attacked him. The APD has shown its gross incompetence to protect the Austin citizenry. injury is one of many in which case the APD has displayed brutality, gross incompetence, and negligence. APD, so completely inept to protect the citizenry, is responsible. Your institution has done nothing but injure and harm Austinites protesting for a better world. End the use of rubber bullets: they''ve hurt too many Austinites; they are weapons of aggression.” 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 #: 2020-0835 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Ms. , complainant, submitted an online complaint to the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “On and 2020, there were two protests/demonstrations regarding justice for the murders of several unarmed Black people perpetrated by police officers. Many of the police officers were nonviolent, but the situation escalated when officers in riot gear came out and began shooting (rubber bullets or bean bags) and spraying (pepper spray or tear gas) protesters. I have no idea what the policies and procedures are regarding use of these weapons, but from my eye witness account they were used aggressively and liberally. Officers in riot gear blocked a peaceful march and sprayed/shot at protesters who went to move through the line after a bus was allowed through. It felt like a police state and appeared highly militarized. I did not see one officer join the protesters on the side of bringing justice to murderers. It was a counter-protester dynamic which is highly inappropriate. I felt unsafe because of the police. I did not bring my daughter to protest an important social cause because I feared I could not protect her from violence by the police. I should not fear people who are paid to protect me.” 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 #: 2020-0836 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, submitted an online complaint to the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “Officers used excessive force and critically injured 20 year old . They fired “less lethal” round that struck at least two people indiscriminately into a peaceful crowd. Afterwards they poured a water bottle on to the crowd and threw the empty bottle at us.” 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 #: 2020-0837 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “STOP SHOOTING PROTESTORS IN THE HEAD. ANY COP WHO DOES THIS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AND FIRED. It really is as simple as that.” 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 #: 2020-0838 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Ms. , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “On social media, I viewed several videos of the Austin Police Department shooting rubber bullets at the peaceful protesters. Among these protesters was . He was peacefully protesting when one of the officers shot him, which according to the witnesses and the videos, led him to be carried to the police officers for help. Unfortunately, a witness claims that the police officers continued to shoot at the protesters while they were trying to give to the police officers for medical assistance. I''m calling for the resignation of the Chief of Police of the Austin Texas Police Department and an immediate reform for police officer''s training. My father was originally from the state of Texas and to see people who are sworn to protect people cause harm instead, it will not be tolerated. Bless all of your hearts (not really) and do what''s right for your department. Thank you.” 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 #: 2020-0839 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Mr. , combat veteran and retired cop, contacted the Office of Police Oversight and asked why APD is shooting pregnant women. Mr. further stated that all of these people should be fired immediately – no excuses. 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 #: 2020-0840 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint alleging the following: “Peacefully protesting on the , myself and several other people were directly and repeated sprayed in the face by this officer while protesting. He smiled as we burned and cried with chemicals in our eyes....literally smiled. .” 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 #: 2020-0841 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email from an anonymous complainant with the following link: 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 #: 2020-0842 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Ms , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “I understand one of your officers shot an unarmed black protester in the head with a “less lethal” round and put him in the hospital with brain damage, and then shot the identified medic who tried to help him. I also hear this is currently under “level 1 investigation”. I’m calling for this officer’s immediate termination, and I hope swift justice will be served. There are truly no words for how corrupt, dangerous, and morally and ethically reprehensible the behavior of your officer(s) was.” 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 #: 2020-0843 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint stating the following: “I''m filing this complaint on behalf of , the 20 year old gentleman who is now in a vegetative state after being shot in the head. I dont understand how police can do this to THEIR OWN CITIZENS because they''re just "following orders". Following this, I read an account from a medic who was shot from a self-estimated 3ft away who was clearly labeled as a medic, while they attempted to clear the way so that the injured could receive care after being instructed to bring the gentleman over.” 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 #: 2020-0844 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, submitted an online complaint to the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “I am a long-term Austin resident and am horrified by the recent treatment of protestors in our city. The reckless use of tear gas and bean bags shots. MEDICS, actively treatment injured protestors, were targeted by officers and hit with these ''less than lethal'' rounds of ammunition. A young university student is currently hospitalized in critical condition due to an officer''s dangerous act. Officers'' physical assaults of Austin citizens who were peaceful protesting is shameful. The APD should be reined in, defunded and investigated for these unacceptable practices. I was not present during this incident, but am horrified each time it is reported on local news.” 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 #: 2020-0845 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Mr. , complainant, submitted an online complaint to the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “There is a few videos of a 16 year old kid getting head shot with a rubber bullet by APD. He wasn''t in the crowds, he was in the distance. Even if this was unintentional it should still be classified as negligent discharge of a weapon. If it was intentional then it is attempted murder. These are two videos from different perspectives.” 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 #: 2020-0848 June 4, 2020 Complaint: , complainant, emailed the Office of Police Oversight stating the following: “I am writing to demand an investigation be opened into firing the officers involved with shooting . was receiving medical help from a professional at protest when officers shot him in the head along with the medic that was administering help. The officers involved in this incident need to be held accountable immediately and taken off the streets of Austin. This requires action now. 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 #: 2020-0849 June 4, 2020 Complaint: Ms. , complainant, alleges that while peacefully protesting, a young man was shot in head. The complainant further alleges that the officer said if the young man wanted medical attention, he needed to be brought to police. However, when he was brought to the police, they open fired and shot the medic. 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 #: 2020-0850 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous complaint alleging that protesters may have been throwing water bottles and APD opened fire on them. Complainant states that this was a complete escalation that was uncalled for and it makes APD look bad. Complainant additionally wanted to file a complaint about the 16-year-old kid who was shot. 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 #: 2020-0851 June 4, 2020 Complaint: An anonymous complainant contacted the Office of Police Oversight to and the pregnant woman who were both shot at the protest. 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 #: 2020-0815 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint stating as follows: “ was shot in the head with a “less-lethal” round while peacefully protesting night. He suffered a skull fracture and brain damage and remains in critical condition. A group of medics and Samaritans were subsequently fired on by the same APD for bringing to them for assistance, upon APD’s request.” 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 #: 2020-0816 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint stating as follows: “I was shot by police officers with "less" lethal rounds while trying to peacefully protest police brutality. I was standing on the grassy hill on the north bound side . The cops were out of control and shot indiscriminately into the crowd. I wasn’t in traffic, I wasn’t throwing things (and no one around me was either). I have a huge bruise on my hip/thigh just a few inches away from my . I find it appalling that the cops would use these weapons against its own citizens unless it was absolutely necessary to preserve life.” 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 #: 2020-0817 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “On , a pregnant woman named was shot in the abdomen with rubber bullets by an APD officer. As she fell to the ground, she was shot twice more in the back and spine. This is not okay. "Nonlethal" ammunition should not be used against peaceful protesters. The majority of police should not be allowed firearms inside protest zones, and there should be stringent regulation by an outside agency on the discharge of firearms carrying "less lethal" rounds. Police should also be trained strongly to handle protest zones and especially given shoot/don’t shoot training. Until changes such as these take effect, will only be the first name on APD’s conscience.” 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 #: 2020-0818 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “On a 16 year old boy was standing alone and unarmed on a hilltop. Then he was shot in the face with a "nonlethal" round by an APD sniper. The same sniper also shot a volunteer medical worker as they tried to administer first aid to . This is not okay. The use of "nonlethal" ammunition against peaceful protesters is brutal and inhumane. Officers should not be allowed firearms inside protest zones, and any discharge of a "nonlethal" weapon should be subject to third party oversight. APD must change their tactics and policies to end the use of "nonlethal" weapons on protestors, or will be just one of many names on your conscience.” 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 #: 2020-0819 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “On , an unidentified 20 year old man known as John Doe ATX (to protect his identity) was shot in the base of the skull by an APD sniper. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and the same sniper also shot a volunteer medic as they attempted to administer first aid. This is not okay. Police officers should not be allowed to use "nonlethal" ammunition against peaceful protesters. Doing so is both brutal and inhumane. The use of "nonlethal" ammunition should be strictly regulated and subject to third party oversight. Please change your policies on the rampant use of rubber bullets and bean bag rounds, or there will remain more names on your conscience.” 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 #: 2020-0820 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an online complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “I attended the protest on near the Capitol to exercise my 1st Amendment right to free speech and in support of people of color. I have previously attended a protest related to climate change at the same location. I have also marched through town with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). I marched with others from the Capitol to in front of City Hall. We were still in the street (as had been the norm at these other events), when over 10 police officers with bicycles began (in coordination) pushing us backward with their bicycles in an aggressive fashion, without even telling us what was going on. Several of the police officers started acting more aggressively to a protester near me and ultimately knocked his sign out of his hands, which hit me in the leg. I moved out of the way and started to feel scared because the police had not acted like this at previous protests and marches I have attended. There is a video of some of this I found online: https (I’m in pink shorts on the right side at the end of the video). A little after this video, I heard what sounded like gun shots and I ran away from the protest, because I was scared of being shot.” 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 #: 2020-0821 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “My name is . I am a resident of Oakland, CA and I am emailing today to demand accountability for the inexcusable misuse of rubber bullets by the Austin Texas Police Department. Your officers shot a PREGNANT woman and two protestors in the HEAD with rubber bullets. The last two are hospitalized and are in critical condition, not to mention going to endure brain injuries. Who knows how that one bullet injured the woman and her child. Do something. Change reform. Don’t be silent.” 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 #: 2020-0823 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “20 year old John Doe was shot in the base of the skull with rubber bullets by APD on APD also fired on volunteer medical worker as they tried to administer first aid. A social media campaign managed to locate John Doe at a hospital in critical condition. His family wishes to keep his name anonymous and for him to remain out of the public eye while he recovers. His story, though, deserves to be told. I am appalled and furious at the unnecessarily violent act taken by APD officers, not only on John Doe but on the medical worker, , who came to his aid. This is NOT serving and protecting. In fact, the use of rubber bullets in point-blank range is actually a violation of their original purpose. I condemn this action and demand that the APD launch an investigation to find the officer responsible for this heinous deed.” 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 #: 2020-0824 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “Dear Austin PD, The treatment of protestors over the past week is absolutely unacceptable. The shooting of two peaceful, young men in the face with what you term ''less lethal'' rounds is despicable. If a private citizen were to do that to anyone they would be arrested immediately. As a citizen of Austin I demand accountability on the behalf of all those who have been subject to violence from many officers of your police department.” 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 #: 2020-0826 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an online complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “APD shot four people on video and killed ” 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 #: 2020-0827 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint stating as follows: “Over the weekend of , APD used excessive force to suppress non-violent protests in downtown Austin. They shot "less-lethal" rubber projectiles directly at protesters, and critically harmed at least 3 innocent people - a pregnant woman, a teenager, and a young black man who now has brain damage. The chief of police continues to show poor and inflammatory leadership, and now threatens to violate our First Amendment rights with a curfew. The police department is threatening the safety of the community.” 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 #: 2020-0828 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “To the Austin Police Department, As a mother, you not only have the right, but an obligation to try and create a better, safer world for your child to grow up in. One of the reasons and many other mothers attended the Austin protests was to instigate change so that their child would never have to fear meeting the same fate as George Floyd. As I’m sure you know, was shot with rubber bullets while pregnant at the protest. This type of behavior is abhorrent. Americans have the right to protest and exercise their first amendment rights. A woman and the life of her unborn child should never be threatened by the officers of the law designated to protect them. The use of rubber bullets needs to end. Police departments across the country need to improve how they train their officers to deal with large crowds and should be better trained at how to de- escalate situations. Thank you for reading, 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 #: 2020-0829 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “Hello, My name is and on April 30th, 2019, , Ellis Reed Parlier, was slaughtered in the school shooting at the University of North Carolina Charlotte by Trystan Terrell Andrews. Reed was the first student shot. The first bullet went through his skull. The next five went through his already-dead body. The only crime Reed committed was sitting in the chair closest to Trystan at a table in a class Trystan dropped out of. Trystan did not receive the death penalty on account of the autism argument used by his attorneys and will be spending his life in prison. They were both white. On exactly one year and one month after Reed’s murder--- was standing on a hill over one hundred feet away from a line of police officers when video evidence shows him hit the ground. Medics rushed over to as blood quietly streams from the wound barely exposed beneath his hair. His eyes are listless. Medics argue over if they should move him or stay put with him, if his head should be upright or tilted back, if they should wash his wound or not. says nothing. has permanent brain damage from the rubber bullet that was aimed directly at his skull. crime appears to be standing and watching the officers who swore to protect him and other citizens. is a person of color. The officer who shot him was white. I am placing emphasis on the race of the individuals directly involved in these two tragedies not because of what took place, but because of how the assailants will be charged. There was no doubt Trystan would be punished; school shootings are one of the greatest tragedies of modern history. wanted Trystan to receive the death penalty, but because Trystan had a “troubled past” and was “autistic” he couldn’t possibly understand the gravity of his actions, and therefore was sentenced to life in prison. There’s no guarantee the court’s decision would change if Trystan were a person of color because school shooters are almost exclusively white men; there is no precedent. But if people of color are routinely given long sentences for petty crimes, then I can say with confidence Trystan would’ve received the death penalty. I don’t have to make assumptions and conjectures about how the officer who shot will be charged. America is revolting because they aren’t. It has taken almost a week of 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 protesting all over the nation to convince the Minneapolis PD to charge all four officers involved in George Floyd’s murder. Officer Chauvin murdered eighteen other people before Floyd. If Officer Chauvin were a civilian, we would call him a serial killer, but because he puts on an aluminum badge for forty hours a week, we’re supposed to call him a “hero?” could’ve easily joined Reed in the lengthy list of people thoughtlessly killed. The only thing that saved him was a rubber bullet. The officer who shot him aimed to kill. Do not make the mistakes of the Minneapolis PD in waiting to fire and charge the officers involved with assault. Fire and charge those officers with attempted murder. Remember who you swore to serve and protect, 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 #: 2020-0830 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an anonymous online complaint stating as follows: “Extremely disappointed with APD’s actions on evening. I was in front of the downtown and my girlfriend and I got pepper spray in our eyes and lungs from the excessive clouds the police let out on the highway which rained down on us. Stripping away our first amendment rights is not the way to go. We are going to vote for real reform in this city because this needs to stop yesterday.” 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 #: 2020-0831 June 4, 2020 Complaint: The Office of Police Oversight received an email complaint from , complainant, stating as follows: “As members of civil society, we all have a fundamental duty to change the world for the better: attended a protest in order to answer her duty. She attended a protest to make this city a better place for her child: she attended to make this city a better place. It is abhorrent to me that for civic participation; for activism; for standing up for the egalitarian values that we, as Americans pride ourselves for owning, she was brutally shot by a rubber bullet. If you truly want to perform your duty just as performed her’s: end the use of rubber bullets -- they are unconscionable weapons of aggression which have no place in our community. If it is the police’s duty to protect the rights of Austinites, you will end the use of rubber bullets. If the police, as an institution, wishes to reform, start by ending the usage of rubber bullets. There is no justification for harming the citizens you are sworn to protect: end the use of rubber bullets immediately. The Rubber Bullets Project” 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 Complaint: 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): 105 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – COMMUNITY POLICING The purpose of this general order is to identify the tenets of Community Policing, which serves as the basis for this Department’s mission and guiding principles. Community Policing is beyond a philosophy, it is a practice. The Austin Police Department is committed to Community Policing which strives to build mutual respect, collaborative partnerships, fair and impartial policing, and procedurally just behavior with the community that we serve. The Department’s goal is to have an understanding of the traditions, culture, and history of the neighborhoods in which they serve in order to develop proactive solutions to problems and increase overall trust in policing. Likewise, the Department is required to provide information and training to the community so community members gain an understanding of police practices and procedures, as well as an understanding of the traditions and culture of law enforcement. 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 ASSESSENT 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. 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 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 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. 206.4 CHEMICAL AGENT GUIDELINES Chemical agents are devices used to minimize the potential for injury to employees, offenders, or other subjects. They should be used only in situations where such force reasonably appears necessary. 206.4.3 TREATMENT FOR CHEMICAL AGENT EXPOSURE Subjects who have been affected by the use of chemical agents should be afforded means of cleansing the affected areas as soon as practicable. Those subjects who complain of further severe effects shall be afforded a medical examination by competent medical personnel. 206.5.5 SHOT PLACEMENT AND DEPLOYMENT DISTANCES Officers should generally follow their training instructions regarding minimum deployment distances and target areas. The need to immediately incapacitate the subject must be weighed against the risk of causing serious injury or death. The head and neck should not be intentionally targeted, however any target area or distance may be considered when it reasonably appears necessary to accomplish immediate incapacitation in order to prevent serious injury or death to officers or others. 300.3 CROWDS, EVENTS AND GATHERINGS Officers may encounter gatherings of people, including but not limited to, civil demonstrations, civic, social and business events, public displays, parades and sporting events. Officers should monitor such events as time permits in an effort to keep the peace and protect the safety and rights of those present. A patrol supervisor should be notified when it becomes reasonably foreseeable that such an event may require increased monitoring, contact or intervention. Officers responding to an event or gathering that warrants law enforcement involvement should carefully balance the speech and association rights of those present with applicable public safety concerns before taking enforcement action. Officers are encouraged to contact organizers or responsible persons to seek voluntary compliance that may address relevant public safety/order concerns. Officers should consider enforcement of applicable state and local laws, such as Tex. Penal Code § 42.03 (Obstructing Highway or Other Passageway), when the activity blocks the entrance or egress of a facility or location and when voluntary compliance with the law is not achieved. 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 301.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMMUNITY 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 are expected to act professionally, treat all persons fairly and equally, and perform all duties impartially, objectively, and equitably without regard to personal feelings, animosities, friendships, financial status, sex, creed, color, race, religion, age, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or social or ethnic background. 301.3 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS APD constantly works to establish direct contacts with the community we serve. Without grassroots community support, successful enforcement of many laws may be difficult, if not impossible. Community involvement can be an effective means of eliciting public support, can serve to identify problems in the making, and may foster cooperative efforts in resolving community issues. Input from the community can also help ensure that agency general orders accurately reflect the needs of the community. 302.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – PUBLIC RECORDING OF OFFICIAL ACTS The Austin Police Department recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record. photograph, and/or audio record APD officers while they are conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity. 326.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – NEWS AND MEDIA RELATIONS The purpose of this order is to seek a balance between permitting the free flow of information to the public and the media while protecting both the prosecution's case and the rights of the accused from possible prejudicial publicity. Public information and positive media relations are an integral part of the operation of any public service agency and APD is no exception. Most citizens have little contact with law enforcement and their opinions of the police are often formed by our Department's portrayal in the media. The release of public information and maintenance of good media relations is a crucial element of APD's mission. Employees must maintain a good rapport with the public and the media and deal with them in a courteous manner. The media has a legitimate function in our society and the public trust of the police can be enhanced through media relations. APD is committed to informing the community and members of the news media of events that are handled by, or involve, the Department. Employees will cooperate fully in meeting the relevant information needs of the public and the news media. Every reasonable effort should be 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 made to obtain requested information, so long as the release of that information conforms to federal and state laws, and follows established Department guidelines. 328.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE – RACIAL OR BIAS-BASED PROFILING This order provides guidance to department members and establishes appropriate controls to ensure that members of the Austin Police Department do not engage in racial or bias-based profiling or violate any related laws while serving the community. 328.2 POLICY – RACIAL OR BIAS-BASED PROFILING The Department strives to provide law enforcement services to our diverse community while respecting the racial, cultural, or other differences of those we serve. It is the policy and practice of the Department to provide law enforcement services and to enforce the law equally, fairly, and without discrimination toward any individual or group. Race, ethnicity or nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, economic status, age, cultural group, disability, or affiliation with any other similar identifiable group shall not be used as the basis for providing differing levels of law enforcement service or the enforcement of the law. While the practice of racial or bias-based profiling is strictly prohibited, it is recognized that race or cultural differences may be legitimately considered by an officer in combination with other legitimate factors; to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause (e.g., subject description is limited to a specific race or group), to establish relevant elements of a crime (e.g. exploitation of an elderly or disabled individual), or to gather evidence relevant to enhanced punishment due to offenses committed because of bias or prejudice. 900.1.1 RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND COMPLY The rules of conduct set forth in this order do not serve as an all-inclusive list of requirements, limitations, or prohibitions on employee conduct and activities; employees are required to know and comply with all Department policies, procedures, and written directives. 900.3.2 ACTS BRINGING DISCREDIT UPON THE DEPARTMENT Since the conduct of personnel both on-duty or off-duty may reflect directly upon the Department, employees must conduct themselves at all times in a manner which does not bring reproach, discredit, or embarrassment to the Department or to the City. 900.3.4 PERSONAL CONDUCT (c) While on-duty or on the premises of City facilities, employees will not: 2. Ridicule, mock, taunt, embarrass, humiliate, or shame any person, nor do anything that might incite that person to violence. 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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