A video allegedly showing police in Austin using force to subdue another man went viral and has many questioning the amount of force that the officers themselves used.
The incident is said to have taken place at approximately 5:35 PM on Tuesday off of Interstate 35 near Ninth Street outside of a convenience store. The video, reportedly taken by a bystander, shows Austin police officers exiting the store with another man, who apparently has already been handcuffed, then taking the man around a corner.
According to officials, the case has been classified as one of drug possession.
The individual recording the encounter then decides to follow the officers, where they can be heard telling the man to put his hands behind his back. The man then says that the officers are punching him. One officer is then seen using a stun gun on the man, while another punches various areas of the man’s body. Local police officials had previously stated that officers are permitted to punch an individual’s arms as a way to get them to put their hands behind their back if they need to be handcuffed; however, the man in question had already appeared to be handcuffed, according to the video.
In the latest update, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley stated that additional surveillance video showed that the man had actually broken free from his handcuffs, put his arms to the front of his body, and tried to walk away. Manley further stated that officers did strike the man’s arms, legs, and head, which he said are not prohibited tactics, provided that the reason for the officers doing so are reasonable. He did, however, state that since the incident is still under review, he could not comment on whether or not the officers’ use of force was reasonable.
The additional surveillance footage has not been released to the general public, but investigators will decide whether or not this will be done once their review of the incident has been concluded.
As for the man in question, Manley did not go into detail in regards to why he was detained by police. He did, however, state that there were other issues from the bystander’s video that concerned him. For instance, two police officers wore face covers, while another one wore a black Santa Claus hat that had the word “naughty” on it. Manley stated that face covers are only permitted to be used in tactical operations and not by officers on patrol, meaning that those two officers had violated the policy of the Austin police force. Manley further stated that both of those issues have since been addressed with the officers in question.
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Posted by Mo Anderson on Tuesday, December 12, 2017