Crime & Justice

Courts, trials and crime coverage for Austin and the Central Texas region.

Ben Philpott for KUT News

The president of Austin’s police officers union said that incidents like the fatal officer-involved shooting of unarmed teenager David Joseph last week stem from chronic understaffing within the department.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

A local law firm is suing Austin police officers involved in an incident on Sixth Street downtown early in the morning of Nov. 6, 2015. The lawsuit [in full here] claims that officers used excessive force and singled out and arrested two African-Americans for jaywalking, a misdemeanor offense.

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

The Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday recommended that prosecutors temporarily stop using bite-mark evidence in criminal cases until questions are answered about its scientific validity.

A panel of the commission has been investigating the reliability of bite-mark evidence following several exonerations across the country in criminal cases where convictions were won partly with bite-mark analysis. One primary concern is "the ability of human skin to record bite marks with sufficient fidelity" to be of use for future analysis, commission general counsel Lynn Garcia reported to the group.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

APD Chief Art Acevedo said the police department's investigation into the fatal shooting by an officer of an unarmed black teenager will be completed within 30 days. Officer Geoffrey Freeman shot 17-year-old David Joseph, who was naked and reportedly behaving erratically, on Monday. Joseph is said to have charged at Freeman, who then discharged his weapon.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The identities of the police officer and the subject involved in Monday’s deadly officer-involved shooting were released Tuesday afternoon. The officer was more-than-ten-year department veteran Geoffrey Freeman. The subject who was fatally shot in the incident was identified as 17-year-old David Joseph.

Joseph was unarmed at the time of the incident, said Austin Police Chief of Staff Officer Brian Manley. When asked why it took more than a day to determine and report whether the subject had been armed, Manley responded:

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