At Least 9 Austin Cops Charged for Excessive Force During Texas Protests Sparked by George Floyd’s Death
At least nine indictments have been issued against Austin Police station staff accused of excessive force in Racial justice rally in the summer of 2020, sources familiar with the grand jury’s decision said Thursday.
The state grand jury considered charges against 21 officers in the department this week, according to Austin Chinese American. Their ongoing probe is expected to bring up future indictments.
Jurors’ review of officers’ actions in the wake of protests across Austin could lead to the highest number of charges in any US city related to the nationwide unrest. the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after then-police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes — about a month after police fatally shot 42-year-old Michael Ramos.
Christopher Taylor, the officer who shot Ramos with the rifle, had charged with first degree murder charge last March. Five months later, he and another officer were indicted for murder in 2019 of a man in crisis, who was holding a knife to his own throat.
The summer racial justice protests in Austin were fueled by tens of thousands of people marching through the downtown area of the city, according to its ABC affiliate KVUE. Protesters suffered fractures and lacerations under the hands of responding law enforcement officers. At least 19 people have been hospitalized as a result of police action during the Austin protests, according to washington articles.
According to documents released by the Travis José Garza County District Attorney’s Office, the grand jury is particularly interested in their investigation, which according to documents released by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, José Garza, is reported to have been completed. fired “less lethal” beanbag rounds at the protesters.
In 2021, it was revealed by CBS ‘Austin branch’ that the police department had chosen not to investigate most complaints against officers about their conduct during protests that summer.
Of the more than 200 complaints filed by community members, the Office of Police Oversight said in a presentation in September that only 27 had been reviewed by the department’s internal affairs office.
Beanbag shells have been at the heart of about a dozen civil lawsuits related to the protests and have been settled by the City of Austin in recent days. On Thursday, the city council announced that two men injured by volleys of bullets will receive total 10 million dollars.
One of the victims, a 20-year-old man who suffered brain damage after being stabbed by an officer targeting another protester, will be paid $8 million. According to KVUE, it was the largest settlement of excessive force in Austin ever offered.
It was not immediately clear whether the charges filed Thursday related to the cases were resolved.
Just before the grand jury’s decision was announced, a representative from the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas hold a press conference to denounce the charges.
“It is an absolute disgrace. And I find it sad that DA Garza is using enforcement officers as pawns in a game of political chess,” said Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association.
“DA Garza runs on a platform to prosecute officers,” continued Casaday, “and did not miss the opportunity to try and ruin lives, careers [to] simply fulfill a campaign promise. ”
Casaday went on to claim that the timing of the charges was politically motivated, calling it “suspicious” that they were announced during the early voting period of the primaries.
The Statesman reported that police supervisors and attorneys were working to track down the indicted officers as of Thursday afternoon. They will be forced to surrender for processing.