AUSTIN (KXAN) — Cases involving an officer-involved shooting and a man who died while in the custody of the Austin Police Department will be reviewed by the Office of the Police Monitor on Thursday. The Citizen Review Panel will look for recommendations they can offer the police chief.
The case where the man died while in custody dealt with a person who was high on crack cocaine and acting erratically inside a North Austin hotel. When police tried to handcuff him he went into cardiac arrest. The other case deals with an officer involved shooting that happened last August at the Capital Village apartments off U.S. Highway 290. A man fired shots into a parking lot and when police arrived he pointed the gun at them and that’s when an officer fired his weapon. The bullet only grazed the man on the cheek and he was arrested a short time later.
While the citizen review panel will make a recommendation to the police chief concerning how these situations are handled – the panel may never see their suggestion implemented.
“Sometimes I see some changes, and I realize that’s the result of looking at and listening to the issues raised. But one of the frustrations is they often don’t hear anything back,” said Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier.
Still, Frasier said their oversight is important, and now that their recommendations can be made public, they believe it allows for more accountability of the police department.
On Friday, the panel recommended to Police Chief Art Acevedo that the department continually train officers on when to fire their weapons at cars. That came as a result of a review of a shooting on Sixth Street from two years ago when a person drove a car out onto a blocked road that was packed with people.