Austin Police

City Council
9:06 am
Fri June 29, 2012

City Council Wrap-Up, F1 Trip to England for City Officials

The copper ceiling inside City Hall.
Paulo Martins for KUT News

The Austin City Council wrapped up its Thursday meeting at 3:45 a.m. Friday morning.

Council members rejected a proposal to build a $5 million temporary customs and immigration processing facility at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

They postponed until August a discussion on ordinance changes for short-term housing rentals.

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Crime
5:52 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Report: Daniel Indicted On Capital Murder Charge in APD Officer Death

Booking Photo of Brandon Daniel
Austin Police Department

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that a grand jury has returned a indictment charging Brandon Daniel with the April shooting death of Austin police officer Jaime Padron at a North Austin Wal-Mart.

police
5:07 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Austin NAACP Calls for Justice Department to Resume Police Investigation

Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder has called for another federal investigation of local police.
.naacp-austin.org

Update: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo refuted claims the department uses excessive force against minorities at a press conference this afternoon.

The chief’s heated speech came after the Austin NAACP formally filed a complaint with the Department of Justice against APD for alleged mistreatment of Hispanics and African-Americans.

Acevedo said that occasional use of force is an ugly reality of the job for many police officers. “We can’t change law to take away officers’ rights to defend themselves or others,” he said.

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Austin
3:19 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

No More Cars on the Green: APD Steeping Up Enforcement

Blues on the Green is held on Zilker Park's Great Lawn every other Wednesday during the summer.
Nathan Bernier, KUT Staff

Parking is becoming a problem at Zilker Park.

The Austin Police Department is trying to curb citations and towings at large events there like Blues on the Green, KGSR’s free biweekly concert event. The last concert saw 22 citations for illegal parking.

Police held a press conference today warning concert-goers to avoid tow-away zones like residential driveways, and stay off  lawns and high grass.

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Crime
4:38 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

APD: Jovita's Owner at Center of Heroin Ring; Sold Drugs in Restaurant

The 19 suspects in today's heroin bust, "Operation Muerte Negra."
Austin Police Department

Regional officials alleged today that Amado Pardo, the owner of Jovita’s Mexican Restaurant in South Austin, led a prison-gang connected heroin ring that moved between $3,400 and $6,250 worth of drugs daily.

Officials from the Austin Police, the FBI, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of the Inspector General and other agencies announced 18 arrests and the seizure of over $1.5 million in assets in a press conference this afternoon, “including a well-known restaurant on South First Street, Jovita’s,” said APD Assistant Chief Sean Mannix.  

Patrick Loll, an FBI assistant special agent for Central Texas, said Pardo lead a “heroin distribution network that has operated here for over a decade.”

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police
1:09 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Update: FBI, APD in Joint Operation Near Jovita’s Restaurant in South Austin

Jovita's is a popular Mexican restaurant on South First Street.
flickr.com/sleystl

Update (2 p.m.): Austin police and additional law enforcement agencies are holding a press conference at 3:30 p.m. to discuss "Operation Muerta Negra" (Black Death), the code name for this morning's bust. 

"The agencies executed nine search warrants and 19 people were arrested in connection with the year-long investigation," police write in a press release. That's four additional arrests than the 15 described by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Update (1 p.m.): 15 Arrested in Connection With Heroin Distribution Ring

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas:

15 ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CONSPIRACY CHARGE IN AUSTIN-BASED HEROIN DISTRIBUTION OPERATION

Federal, state and local law enforcement have arrested 15 individuals, including ringleader 64-year-old Amado Pardo, in connection with an Austin-based heroin distribution operation …

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AM Update 6/21/12
7:53 am
Thu June 21, 2012

AM Update: Health Care Decision Expected, New Education Website, 'Police Games' in Austin

Protesters clash over the Affordable Care Act in 2009.
KUT News

Supreme Court Health Care Decision Expected

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act possibly as soon as today.

The controversial law is the Obama administration’s most touted accomplishment. President Obama calls it "the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important reform of our health care system since Medicare passed in the 1960s."

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Police
2:16 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

In Wake of Cisco the Dog Shooting, APD Announces Changes to Canine Protocol

facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

After the controversial shooting of a pet dog named Cisco earlier this year, Austin Police are announcing training and policy changes to the use of lethal force on dogs.

Austin Police Department Chief of Staff  David Carter says the department is quickly implementing policy and training changes – in hopes an incident like the Cisco shooting doesn’t happen again.

“Before an officer takes action, there needs to be an imminent threat of bodily injury,” Carter says, “whereas in the past, it would describe that the animal was dangerous.” Additionally, officers would need to “justify the position of using a firearm, versus using some other method to repel a dog, if that’s necessary. For example using a nightstick, or chemical spray, or a tazer, or some other thing such as that.”  Additional responsibility now also falls on the officer’s supervisor to investigate such shootings, instead of having the officer self-report on the circumstances of the shooting.

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Police
3:28 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

APD Defends Police Pursuit Turned Deadly

Assistant police chief Mannix defended the pursuit of a auto theft suspect today.
Andy Uhler, KUT News

Assistant Austin Police chief Sean Mannix today said officers followed proper protocol in a high speed chase Friday – but added that the chase would have been “terminated in a matter of seconds” had the suspect not crashed into another car, killing an innocent motorist.

32-year old James Williford was hit and killed by a Ford F-250 allegedly driven by Reynaldo Victor Hernandez Jr. Hernandez was running from police when he raced through a red light and crashed into James  Williford’s Mitsubishi Lancer.

“This happened in a manner of seconds – less than a minute and a half from the time the officer got behind the vehicle until the crash occurred,” said Mannix.

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Austin
5:01 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Wal-Mart Employees Honored for Conduct During Padron Shooting

Police chief Art Acevedo lauded Wal-Mart employees Archie Jordy and Lincoln Le Mere today.
Photo by Andy Uhler for KUT News

Today, family members of Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron joined Police Chief Art Acevedo in paying tribute to Wal-Mart employees whose quick reaction likely prevented further bloodshed in the incident that claimed Officer Padron’s life.

Chief Acevedo gave certificates of recognition to several Wal-Mart employees before recognizing Archie Jordy and Lincoln Le Mere specifically for stepping in and helping tackle the shooter. 

The two were presented with glass trophies which included Officer Padron's badge number. Since the shooting, Acevedo has called the actions of the two men the silver lining in a tragic event.

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ROT Rally
5:35 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

APD Gears Up For ROT Rally

Some bikes parked at the Travis County Expo Center during the ROT Rally 2010
Photo by Nasha Lee for KUT News

The Austin Police Department announced a series of safety measures focused on drunk driving for the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally. 

The ROT Rally kicks off this Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Travis County Exposition Center in Northeast Austin. Over 40,000 people have registered to attend, and over 100,000 on-lookers are anticipated, according to APD.  ROT is the fourth-largest biker rally of its kind in the United States.       

A “No-Refusal” policy will go into effect at 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. on Sunday. Under the policy, police can issue blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to give a breath or blood sample.  Art Acevedo, the Austin Police Chief, hopes that the stringent policy will deter rally goers from making poor decisions while drinking. 

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AM Update
7:26 am
Mon June 4, 2012

AM Update: Investigating Unsolved Murders, Cap Metro Route Changes, UT Men's Golf Wins NCAA

Outside experts may soon review cold cases from APD's files; Summer changes to Capital Metro schedules are now in effect; The UT Men's Golf team celebrates their NCAA win.
Photo by KUT News, Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News, Photo courtesy texassports.com

Unsolved Murders to get Another Look?

Today Austin’s Public Safety Commission will consider a change in the way the city investigates unsolved crimes like the Yogurt Shop Murders.

The commission’s vice chair says the city needs to spend money on external reviews for some unsolved crimes because Austin Police Department detectives know too much about the cases and aren’t able to be as open-minded about possible solutions

Dr. Kim Rossmo says the Yogurt Shop Murders should be the first case considered for an external review. In 1991, the bodies of four teenage girls were discovered after a fire in a yogurt shop. Convictions in the crime were overturned.

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Memorial Day
4:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Safety Tips and Warnings this Memorial Day Weekend

Photo by KUT News

Austinites will flock to the city's numerous parks and waterways this weekend. We've put together a guide for what you need to know about rules and safety.

Watercraft Ban: Put Away that Motorized Surfboard!

If you’re planning to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend on Lady Bird Lake, you'll need to leave your motorized surfboard at home. The Austin Police Department will be enforcing an annual ban on motorized personal watercraft – like jet skis – from sunset on Friday until sunrise on Tuesday.

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Transportation
1:36 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

'Click It or Ticket' Starts Today

For the next two weeks, law enforcement will watch closely for seat belt scofflaws.
Photo by By Daniel Reese for KUT News

Today marks the beginning of another "Click it or Ticket" campaign, a two-week undertaking by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enforce seat belt usage. 

In Texas and across the country, law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers and passengers shirking seatbelt laws, or whose children are improperly restrained. (Children under eight years must be in a child safety seat, unless they are taller than 4'9".) Citations run up to $250.

The NHTSA writes on its website that in the annual “Click It or Ticket” initiative, over three million tickets have been written over the last five years – a ticket every other second.

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Austin
1:19 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Is Austin's Texting Ban Making a Difference?

Austin drivers may not be paying much attention to the ban on texting while driving.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

In Austin, it’s illegal to use your cell phone for anything other than phone calls while driving. That includes texting and surfing the internet. The ban went into effect January 1, 2010.

But is the ban making a difference?

The Austin Police Department told KUT that officers have written just 26 citations for texting while driving since the city’s ban took effect.

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AM Update
7:55 am
Wed April 18, 2012

AM Update: APD's Cisco Statement, Houston Baby Abduction, Trader Joe's (Finally) Comes to Austin

National attention continues to focus on the APD shooting of Cisco, a pet blue heeler.
Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

APD's Official Statement on Cisco the Dog 

The Austin Police Department has issued a statement regarding the controversial shooting of Cisco the dog on Saturday.

The incident, which drew national press and inspired a Justice for Cisco Facebook page that currently holds over 60,000 likes, led both Cisco's owner Michael Paxton and APD Chief Art Acevedo to speak with KLBJ-FM yesterday. In the interview, Paxton says: "Obviously there's a breakdown of training here.  You don't approach an unarmed man in his driveway with weapons drawn." (In March, KUT News reported on ramped up weapons training at APD, set to start in April).

Acevedo said: "I'm sorry on behalf on all the members of the department.  We know the pain's real."

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Police
2:49 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Was APD Abiding by Policy in Shooting of Cisco the Dog?

A closer look at APD firearms policy is occuring following the shooting of a pet dog, Cisco.
Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

The shooting of a pet blue heeler, Cisco, by Austin Police Officer Thomas Griffin has drawn attention to police policy in dealing with animals.

Officer Griffin shot Cisco while responding to a domestic dispute call. Austin Police Department (APD) has stated he responded to an address the department was given on a 911 call; however, that address was incorrect. Upon entering the property, he found Cisco and his owner, Michael Paxton.

In dashboard video recently released by APD, Officer Griffin can be seen reaching towards his holster before exiting the frame. Seconds later, he’s heard yelling “Show me your hands,” and the sound of a barking dog occurs. Officer Griffin can then be heard yelling “Get your dog!” and a shot occurs immediately afterwards.

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Police
6:00 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Details Emerge on Police Shooting of Cisco, the Pet Dog

Blue heeler Cisco, dead after being shot by an officer with the Austin Police Department.
Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

The Austin Police Department released more details on the controversial shooing of a pet dog named Cisco that has taken the web by storm.

At a press conference this afternoon, APD released dashboard video of Officer Thomas Griffin shooting the dog on Saturday. It has not yet been determined whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Griffin.  Officials say he is distraught over the shooting.

APD spokesman David Daniels says Officer Griffin responded to a call describing a conflict between a male and female who were intoxicated.  However, the address given by the 911 caller was incorrect. While searching for the couple, Griffin came upon a man and told him to put his hands up. Officials say the dog charged at that moment. Griffin, whose gun was un-holstered, fired one shot, killing the animal.

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Police
12:44 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Why was Cisco the Dog Shot? 11,000 Facebook Users Want to Know

Cisco, the blue heeler allegedly shot by the APD this weekend.
Photo courtesy facebook.com/JusticeForCisco

The story of a dog’s shooting death at the hands of Austin Police has exploded across Facebook, raising questions about police policy when confronted with animals.

The story was posted to the social site this weekend on a page dedicated to the topic, “Justice for Cisco.” Cisco was the Blue Heeler owner Michael Paxton says was shot down in an incident this weekend.

The page administrator describes the incident on Saturday, April 14 below:

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AM Update
8:38 am
Fri April 13, 2012

AM Update: Officer Padron Buried in San Angelo, Adult Stem Cell Rules, Senate Debate Tonight

The Honor Guard carries Officer Padron's casket at memorial services on Wednesday.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

APD Officer Killed in the Line of Duty to be Buried Today

Today, APD Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron will be buried in San Angelo. The local funeral will begin at 10 a.m., followed a procession to Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens where Padron will be laid to rest.

Padron was remembered in Austin on Wednesday with a funeral, police honors service and procession.

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