” When it takes four officers to apprehend a jaywalker — a very tiny jaywalker at that — how do you defend your department’s actions? Well, if you’re the Austin police department, you try several diversionary tactics ranging from bad to horrendous.”
You may remember our story of burly cops subduing a petite jaywalker outside of the Austin UT campus . At the time all of the available media we could find was still images but now a video has come to light that makes the cops look even worse .
Now after a few days of well-deserved humiliation over the spectacle of multiple burly cops struggling to subdue a 120lb jogger , the Chief of the Austin PD , Art Acevedo decided that he must address the public outcry and believe me , he would have been better off keeping his mouth shut . Tech Dirt explains …
” Here’s the setup. A Texas woman out jogging boldly crossed the street far from the lawful corners. This attracted the attention of two Austin PD officers who yelled at her to stop. When she failed to submit to their authority (most likely because she would have assumed that [if she even heard it over her earbuds] — like any other person crossing the street — shouts of “Austin police! Stop!” were intended for someone doing something much more dangerous/criminal), they stepped up their pursuit, ultimately grabbing her arm and demanding she provide some identification.
She further enraged the jaywalking patrol by a.) pulling her arm out of the cop’s grasp and b.) refusing to provide an ID card or drivers license. This turned jaywalking into an arrest for (if you guessed “jaywalking,” you’re wrong)… “failure to identify.”
Is that even a thing? Well, yes it is, but no, not in this case. Here’s the part of the statute that applies to the events in question.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information. “
We can see that the police don’t even appear to know the law very well , as witnessed by the bogus charge leveled against the young woman … “failure to identify” while this same ignorance of the law by the beat cops came to light last week when another young woman was arrested in Florida for videoing her traffic stop .
But rather than tender an apology and appearing appropriately contrite , the Chief demonstrated that the idiocy that revealed itself through the beat cops trickles down from the top when he offered the public these words of wisdom as further explained in the Tech Dirt article …
” Well, I guess Austin citizens are fortunate you’re only running the department rather than slapping additional bogus charges on jaywalkers. But Chief Acevedo has more, because the spoiled citizens of Austin truly have no idea how lucky they are that Austin’s finest are patrolling the streets.
” In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas.” “
Read the whole thing to discover exactly how asinine the entire Austin PD comes off .