AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday is under review by the police department after a video captured him allegedly punching a man on Sixth Street.
According to the police report, Andrew Garcia, 23, approached a group of police horses and attempted to pet one of them. In video captured by the Peaceful Streets Project, it appears one officer slaps the man’s hand away from the horse before a swarm of police surround him. Peaceful Streets says Casaday then emerges from the middle of the group and hits Garcia on the head.
Garcia was arrested and charged with interference with a police service animal and assault on an officer. The affidavit states Garcia told the officer not to touch him after he attempted to pet the horse. Two officers immediately began putting the man in handcuffs, according to the affidavit. Police say an officer was hit by Garcia “intentionally” while they attempted to arrest him. The document does not mention Casaday’s involvement or address the alleged punch that hit Garcia.
The Peaceful Streets Project describes itself as an all-volunteer, grassroots effort to end institutional violence in the community. They claim Casaday was the one who punched Garcia. Their video does not appear to show Garcia hit an officer.
The Austin Police Department has confirmed the case is under investigation. The officer named in the affidavit has been removed from official duty for the time being.