Austin Police

Jury Acquits APD Officer in Death of Byron Carter

Jun 11, 2013

A federal jury has acquitted Austin Police officer Nathan Wagner of using excessive force in the 2011 shooting of 20 year-old Byron Carter. The case was a federal civil proceeding; an Austin grand jury declined to indict officer Wagner in March of 2012.


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Update: The lockdown at Webb Middle and primary schools has been lifted, according to AISD officials. Schools will resume a regular schedule. APD was not immediately available to confirm whether or not the suspect has been apprehended.

Original Story (12:18 p.m.): Webb Middle and primary schools are on lock down as Austin Police search for a possibly armed suspect in the St. Johns/I-35 area, according to Austin Independent School District.

The man is suspected to be connected to a woman who tried to cash a forged check this morning on the 6400 block of US-290.

Daniel Reese

 

Last year’s Memorial Day weekend saw 191 car crashes, one death and 99 injuries, said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. 

This year, APD, state police, and nearby counties are collaborating to counter hazardous driving, in an effort to make holiday weekends less destructive on Central Texas roads.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Update: Austin police say the suspect is in custody and that roadways will open soon. Eastbound U.S. Hwy 290 is open now, but the service road near Berkman is still closed.

The situation started early this morning when police responded to a call of a shot fired at the Capitol Village Apartments. When officers arrived, police say the suspect pointed a weapon at them and police fired back – but no one was injured. The suspect then went back inside of an apartment and police have been trying to make contact. They’re also trying to evacuate the apartment complex.

Ann Choi for KUT News

With Austin welcoming around 150 new people every day, the Austin Police Department is especially reaching out to those from afar.

The APD Community Liaison Office hosted its first immigrant outreach event today in North Austin.

Joy Diaz/KUT News

No one was injured this morning when an Austin Police officer shot at a 58 year-old man at the corner of 12th Street and Airport. But the incident is likely to, once again, raise questions about the use of lethal force by Austin police.

APD says the incident started as a routine traffic stop just a few minutes before 8 o'clock when a truck ran a red light. After the truck was pulled over, police say the driver got out of the vehicle and walked towards the officer making the stop.

Flickr, Mike Frizzell http://www.flickr.com/photos/operation100/8059550159/

When you think of a police car, you probably envision the Ford Crown Victoria, long the choice of law enforcement agencies all over North America, including here in Austin. 

But Ford has decided to stop making them, so APD is making a switch, mainly to a utility vehicle based on the Ford Explorer.            

Austin Feldman for KUT News

The Austin Police Department is launching the first phase of a bike safety initiative today.

As Austin’s bicycling community grows – two percent of commuters are getting to work by bike – so does the need for increased education and awareness. Especially after a record year of traffic deaths.

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In the two weeks since the Boston Marathon bombing, suspects have been identified and news outlets have interviewed people who knew them – asking if there was any sign that they might be capable of the attacks.

The same questions were asked after the Newtown Elementary School shooting.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin Police Chief says an incident this week in which police officers fatally shot a man was not a mental health call.

Chief Art Acevedo is responding to the Texas Civil Rights Project calling for the city to appoint an independent professional consultant to help police handle incidents involving people with mental illness.

Here’s how Chief Acevedo characterizes this week’s incident, in which a man was shot after pointing a shotgun at APD officers.

“It was not a mental health call," Acevedo said. "It was a public safety threat call, where the, the absolute safety of our residents was at risk. The Austin Police Department received information that the decedent in that case was suicidal and homicidal and threatening to hurt others.”

The Texas Civil Rights Project is calling for more involvement from the Austin Police Monitor’s Office in assessing calls involving use of force.

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Update: Austin Police have identified the man killed by police last night as 54-year-old Herbert Babelay.

Original Story (April 24, 8:23 a.m.): Four Austin Police Officers involved in a fatal shooting last night are on paid administrative leave. The officers shot and killed a man who they say pointed a rifle at them.

It happened in southeast Austin – in the 700 block of Valdez. Police were called to that address at 8:40 p.m. on a report of a homicidal or suicidal man.

KUT News

The Travis County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday afternoon that a grand jury is not issuing felony indictments against Antonio Buehler or the Austin Police Officer who arrested him.

Buehler was arrested early on New Year’s Day of last year after saying APD officers were being overly aggressive with a woman accused of interfering with arrest.      

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Austin Police Department is recommending the city hire as many as 250 more officers by 2017 to meet population growth. The suggested number came from a study by the Police Executive Research Forum.

Austin follows a rough ratio of two officers per thousand residents as a staffing guideline. Currently there’s just over 1,700 APD officers meeting the staffing guideline. 

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Austin Police are giving more attention this weekend to the Rundberg Lane area of North Austin, conducting what they call a 100 percent enforcement initiative on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Officers will watch for all crimes, of course, including traffic offenses, but will give particular attention to drugs, prostitution and gang-related crimes. Austin Police Lt. Allen McClure says the goal is a reduction in crime in an area with a disproportionate amount of it.

Christopher Ebdon/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/av8pix/6861164814/

Update: The Austin City Council has approved a $1.17 million contract with Metro Aviation to outfit APD's new chopper.

The council had already approved the purchase of a new helicopter, but this morning the council approved a proposal to equip the chopper with accessories, including firefighting equipment. You can read more below. 

Original Post (March 19): A new helicopter for Austin Police could be equipped with thermal imaging, a search-light, night vision goggles, water buckets and other accessories, if council gives the green light to spend the cash.

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The Austin Police Department wants to curb aggressive driving on Interstate 35. Starting Sunday, March 17, APD and other law enforcement agencies will increase their operations along the I-35 corridor. The crackdown will continue until Saturday, March 23.

APD says they’ll be looking for those who speed, tailgate, pass emergency vehicles, and fail to signal or wear a seat belt.

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Good morning. Austin's in for partly cloudy weather with a seasonal high in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service.

Lead Story: There’s a new two-year labor contract for Austin bus drivers.

McDonald Transit operates about 70 percent of Capital Metro’s fixed route bus service.  It has signed a two-year labor contract with Amalgamated Transit Union 1091, which represents the drivers and mechanics, after being ratified with a union vote of 91 percent.

KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says a Red Flag Warning in effect until 8 p.m. today. The windy, dry conditions mean a high risk of fire in Central Texas. The Travis County Fire Marshal is asking everyone to be careful and to avoid doing things like mowing, welding and outdoor cooking.

Lead Story: The nation is three days into those across-the-board federal budget cuts called the sequester.  And the Secretary of Homeland Security says some of the nation’s bigger airports are already seeing security-line waits up 150 to 200 percent because of immediate cuts to overtime pay.

Joy Diaz/KUT News

This morning's shooting death of a North Austin man is under investigation. 

At a press conference earlier today Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said it all started at 7:23 this morning, when the deceased man, who has yet to be identified by name, called 911 saying he had shot a pitbull that attacked him.

Erika Aguilar, KUT News

The Austin Police Department is taking steps to improve the Rundberg area as part of the Restore Rundberg Project. APD is conducting a Vehicle Abatement initiative: tagging and towing vehicles that are in violation of city ordinances and state laws.

It might seem trivial for police to address crime with efforts that target illegally parked cars, but University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor of Sociology and Consultant to the Restore Rundberg Project David Kirk says that it addresses a bigger sociological issue known as the Broken Window theory.

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