Austin Police Chief’s Statement Makes Viral Jogger Arrest Worse, Prompts Embarrassing Apology
February 24, 2014 11:30am PST
Last week we reported of a video going viral showing a jogger being arrested after jaywalking. Making the incident look worse for the department, the Chief of police took to shrugging his shoulders and saying at least his officers weren’t sexually assaulting city residents. The outrage caused by the Chief’s justification prompted him to make a formal apology.
A video has gone viral showing the incident at hand showing a jogger being arrested after not stopping for officers because she had earbuds in and was listening to music. Going on her average run, she crossed the street in front of officers who were there to deter jaywalking and fine anyone guilty.
That being said, when the jogger did just that, officer called out but because she was listening to her music loudly she wasn’t able to hear, let alone obey, officer’s commands. This prompted an all out pursuit in which an officer grabbed the woman by the arm.
As anyone would react, the woman–not knowing it was an officer grabbing her–pulled away allowing for officers to arrest the woman for resisting. All caught on camera, the woman starts out sitting handcuffed on the sidewalk and is then thrown in the back of a cruiser and hauled of to jail where she was processed.
Take a look at the video that’s going viral in its entirety here:
Austin chief of police, Art Acevedo, was quick to defend his officers saying at least they weren’t out molesting citizens. In a bizarre form of justification, Acevedo stated, “In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas.”
Further displaying his foot-in-mouth disorder, He went on to explain, “Thank you lord that it’s a controversy in Austin, Texas that we actually have the audacity to touch somebody by the arm and tell them ‘oh my goodness, Austin Police, we’re trying to get your attention.”
What chief Acevedo didn’t comprehend though is that he was implying that what his officers did was alright because of the worse criminal activities that exist in other departments. Citizens were outraged by his statement and eventually prompted an apology where the chief admitted he was wrong.
During a formal statement he stated, “In hindsight, I believe the comparison was a poor analogy and for this I apologize.” He finished by conveying, “I stand committed to transparent leadership and will continue to engage the community we serve in an open, honest, and timely manner.”
He did however take to blaming his initial reaction to the arrest as the result of an, “emotional week.” He relayed that his comments came on the heels of a conviction of a man that was responsible for the killing of an Austin police officer back in 2012.
He doesn’t however seem to take accountability, but more acts out of what is best for himself. Saying that there is always a reason or justification for his and his subordinates actions seems to demonstrate a lack in respect for the law.
It would seem more accurate that his initial reaction was more true to his intent saying that what his officers did wasn’t that bad, and in all reality, was being blown out of proportion. Despite the fact that it took public outrage to prompt both of these responses, the chief of police has a duty to make sure his house is in order.
It shouldn’t have taken such a reaction from citizens in order for the Chief to correct the wrongdoings of his subordinate officers–period.
What do you think–could the remarks of Acevedo been made under duress or does it shine a light behind the blue curtain in which police officers protect their own regardless of legality, honesty and integrity? Let us know in a comment below!
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