BORDER PATROL CHASE - 2006
Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will not wait for the Federal Gov't to protect the state's border and compelling videotape supports his urgency. In this DPS video you can see just how bold drug smugglers are. Officers chase this black SUV for miles before pulling the suspect over. Just as he blows a tire... he holds his gun out the window. Officers say this is just one example of what they deal with every day. Perry says protecting the border is Washington's responsibility... but the waiting is over.
BLACK PICKUP ROLLOVER CHASE 2006
GOOD SHORT HIGH SPEED CHASE THAT ENDS WHEN A BLACK PICKUP TRUCK DOES A NICE BARRELL ROLL!
CHASED PICKUP IS ALL WASHED UP 2010
AN AERIAL FLIR CHASE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS ENDS IN THE DRINK! PICKUP TRUCK FLEEING POLICE TAKES A WRONG TURN AND DRIVES RIGHT INTO A LAKE!!!
Shootout Showdown - 2007
Dashcam video of a shoot out between Austin police and a man on trial for trying to kill that officer, was released. Jerel Lamar is standing trial for attempted capital murder. The dashcam shows Sgt. Michael Barger pulling up to a disturbance call in East Austin April 22nd, 2007. Neighbors called police after Lamar and his brother had been fighting. The video shows Lamar ignoring Barger's commands to drop the gun he is holding and to get to the ground. Lamar is seen firing shots at Barger. Barger fires back, gets in his patrol car and drives off backwards. Lamar continues to fire at the officer. Despite what this video shows, Lamar's family told FOX 7 News exclusively that it doesn't show everything. Cynthia Lamar says her son, "was suicidal, he wanted the officers to kill him, and that was it. He was not in his right state of mind, we had death in our family. He had lost an uncle the day before." J.A. Andre told police his brother said he had planned to shoot it out with police, to kill innocent people, and was going to make the mass murder at virginia tech look like a walk in the park. Lamar says, "my brother was very frustrated with life. He wanted to end his life, he didn't think it was worth living and he said some things that i feel, out of frustration." After the shoot out, Lamar barricaded himself at his girlfriend's home and held her hostage. APD's SWAT team was called. Officer Jeff Dwyer, who is a sniper, responded that day. "Aany type of noise we made outside the house, he'd fire a round," Dwyer said. "He fired multiple rounds. The window I was standing near I had debris coming in the house through the window. It wasn't a bullet but it was tile from the roof so that adds so that kind of makes it a little bit more nervous." The call out lasted about 17 hours. Sgt Dave Austin says such a long standoff presents challenges. "The worst case scenario he can get himself hurt or get somebody else hurt if its a hostage situation, if people are relying on you, you're their last resort. That officer's participation and focus what the job at hand can be critical," said Austin. Despite putting so many lives at risk that day, the Lamar family says Jerel needs help and not prison time. If convicted, Lamar faces up to life in prison. Closing arguments are expected Thursday.
WINNINGEST COACH’S LOSER MOMENT 2009
Augie Garrido is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history, but he clearly thought his career was in jeopardy when he was pulled over for drunk driving on January 17. He expressed concern about his career at least three times during a traffic stop that ended in his arrest for DWI. "This will end my career, you know," he told the officer who pulled him over for driving with his headlights off. "What will end your career?" the officer asked. "If I have a DUI," Garrido responded. "Why would you have a DWI?" "No reason," Garrido answered. The officer does not appear to recognize Garrido, and even asks him how to pronounce his last name. Police dashcam video of the arrest was released Wednesday, six days after Garrido was sentenced to five days in jail and fined $500. He earlier pleaded guilty to DWI and completed alcohol counseling. UT suspended him for four games because of the arrest. During the traffic stop, Garrido and the officer are polite to one another throughout and repeatedly address each other as sir. Garrido says he's had five glasses of wine over the course of the evening, during which he said he discussed a business deal with former lieutenant governor Ben Barnes and others. Garrido agrees to take a field sobriety test, but has trouble walking heel-to-toe, at one point saying, "I'm staggering." He later says," No, I'm drunk" as he attempted to walk heel-to-toe. The officer responds, "You're drunk, sir?" "No, I'm not admitting that," Garrido said. "What I'm saying is, are you going to arrest me?" The officer conducts several more tests, then tells Garrido he is under arrest for DWI. The officer says Garrido has been a gentleman throughout the stop and puts two pairs of handcuffs on him so his wrists are not hurt. "You just ended a career, you know," Garrido said. "No sir, I did not," the officer responded. "I'm not the one who made a choice to drive and drive tonight."
WILD DESERT MINIVAN FOOTCHASE 2011
PRETTY GOOD POLICE AIR SUPPORTED HIGH SPEED CHASE, FOLLOWED BY A FOOT CHASE IN THE TEXAS DESERT. BAD GUY GIVES UP AFTER RUNNING ABOUT AS FAR AS HE COULD.
COACH SAYS TOO MUCH 2009
Augie Garrido is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history, but he clearly thought his career was in jeopardy when he was pulled over for drunk driving on January 17. He expressed concern about his career at least three times during a traffic stop that ended in his arrest for DWI. "This will end my career, you know," he told the officer who pulled him over for driving with his headlights off. "What will end your career?" the officer asked. "If I have a DUI," Garrido responded. "Why would you have a DWI?" "No reason," Garrido answered. The officer does not appear to recognize Garrido, and even asks him how to pronounce his last name. Police dashcam video of the arrest was released Wednesday, six days after Garrido was sentenced to five days in jail and fined $500. He earlier pleaded guilty to DWI and completed alcohol counseling. UT suspended him for four games because of the arrest. During the traffic stop, Garrido and the officer are polite to one another throughout and repeatedly address each other as sir. Garrido says he's had five glasses of wine over the course of the evening, during which he said he discussed a business deal with former lieutenant governor Ben Barnes and others. Garrido agrees to take a field sobriety test, but has trouble walking heel-to-toe, at one point saying, "I'm staggering." He later says," No, I'm drunk" as he attempted to walk heel-to-toe. The officer responds, "You're drunk, sir?" "No, I'm not admitting that," Garrido said. "What I'm saying is, are you going to arrest me?" The officer conducts several more tests, then tells Garrido he is under arrest for DWI. The officer says Garrido has been a gentleman throughout the stop and puts two pairs of handcuffs on him so his wrists are not hurt. "You just ended a career, you know," Garrido said. "No sir, I did not," the officer responded. "I'm not the one who made a choice to drink and drive tonight."
Perry - Video VNR
THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY RELEASES PATROL CAR VIDEO OF A TRAFFIC STOP INVOLVING LT. GOV. RICK PERRY LATE LAST MONTH
BUS STOP COP ABUSE 2006
A COP IS IN HOT WATER STEMMING FROM EXCESSIVE FORCE CHARGES. THE OFFICER IN QUESTION APPROACHED A MAN WHO WAS SLEEPING AT A BUS STOP. NO ONE KNEW IF HE WAS SLEEPING OR PASSED OUT DRUNK. TURNS OUT THE MAN IS CLASSIFIED AS "MENTALLY RETARDED". WHEN THE MAN WOULDN'T RESPOND TO THE OFFICER VERBALLY TRYING TO WAKE HIM, THE OFFICER SHOOK HIM AND THEN THE MAN STOOD UP. AT THIS POINT THE COP STARTS BEATING ON HIM WITH HIS BATON CLAIMING HE WAS RESISTING HIM. THE OFFICER HIT THE MAN IN THE FACE AND LEGS AND BROKE HIS NOSE. THE WHOLE THING WAS CAUGHT ON DASHCAM.
Cleveland Police Chase (08/07/1997)
Willoughby, Ohio Police are still wondering why a woman would put so many people at risk to avoid a simple traffic stop. Judy Jones led police on a high speed chase early this morning, it ended in a horrible crash. What you see here is the view from a police cruiser responding to the scene. 29-year old Henry Coy was driving the other car. He is listed in guarded condition. Hospital officals say Judy Jones underwent surgery for multiple fractures.
VETERAN COP’S MANEUVER TOO DANGEROUS 2007
A police officer was suspended for using a popular tactical move in a car chase that this department banned more than a decade ago. The Austin Police Association is backing him, however, saying the department is sending a dangerous message to its officers. Sgt. Keith Stoddard, a 20-year veteran, was suspended for three days without pay after using the PIT maneuver to stop a fleeing suspect along East Oltorf Street in December. The move involves bumping a fleeing vehicle in an attempt to cause it to spin out and stall. Video from police Sgt. Keith Stoddard's dashboard camera shows a suspect fleeing in his car. Police said he was driving under the influence of alcohol and has already been in an accident. The suspect sends Stoddard on a chase, passing traffic and running stop signs and stoplights. Then the car slows down, and Stoddard attempts to stop him. "I'm taking him out," he said in the video. The second time he uses the PIT maneuver he is successful. "The PIT maneuver was banned here at the Austin Police Department about 15 years ago," said Asst. Chief Leo Enriquez. Stoddard had been trained on carrying out the PIT maneuver. Many police departments use the move, but APD does not allow ramming or colliding with fleeing suspects unless deadly force is justified. "The reason we banned it was because, No. 1, people were getting hurt," Enriquez said. APD said after reviewing the incident, Stoddard was clearly not authorized to use the move. Enriquez said Stoddard admitted it was out of line. Yet George Vanderhule, president of the Austin Police Association, is not so sure. "What concerns me is if the individual who had DWI already had been involved in a collision and was fleeing the scene continued to pose a threat to people on the roadway," Vanderhule said. Vanderhule said the move by the police department could send the wrong message to officers. "If it's a case where an officer's actions were blatantly wrong, other officers learn from that, but when it is questionable, like in this case, other officers start second guessing what they ought to do in a situation," Vanderhule said. Meanwhile, APD it wants to send the message to officers that they will be held accountable.
PLANNED WATER ESCAPE CHASE? 2010
AN AERIAL FLIR CHASE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS ENDS IN THE DRINK! SUV CHASE SEEMS TO PURPOSELY GO OVER A SMALL EMBANKMENT INTO THE LAKE. HE THEN PROCEEDS TO PULL OUT OF A LIFE VEST, GETS ON THE TOP OF THE VEHICLE AND PUT IT ON AND SWIM TO SAFETY AND FREEDOM!
DID HE TICKET HIMSELF? 2012
An Austin police officer has been suspended for one day for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and hitting a woman with his police car. Officer Carlos Mayfield was stopped at a red light at 11th Street and San Jacinto in Downtown Austin on May 15 when the light turned green and he made a right hand turn. Video from Mayfield's in car camera shows him striking a woman in the crosswalk with his vehicle. Mayfield immediately calls for EMS and then reports the crash. The woman was treated for minor injuries and Mayfield told officers at the scene he simply did not see the woman. "He was just sick about it," said APD Assistant Chief Raul Mungia. "He was trying to be safe watching out for the bicycles and he was just- didn't see her." But Mungia believes the incident could have been avoided, had Mayfield's laptop been closed, instead of open. "Had it been lowered- it's very possible that it was preventable," said Mungia, who added that the open laptop was one thing that obstructed Mayfield's view of the pedestrian. After this incident in May, APD commanders sent an email to patrol officers- reminding them to drive, when possible, with their laptop screens down in order to avoid any extra distraction- or visual obstruction. Mungia said the department is also preparing to test a pilot program with voice activated computer data in about 20 patrol cars, to keep officer's eyes on the road. "When the updates come up- it actually just talks to you- just gives them to you verbally- that way the officer is not taking his eye off the road to look at the computer," said Mungia. Ironically, Austin police are making an effort to curb pedestrian deaths, which are up for the year across the city. Since January 2012, 19 pedestrians have died in crashes with vehicles in Austin. Part of the initiative to keep pedestrians safe is an undercover sting operation at the city's most dangerous crosswalks. So far, with about 12 hours and 3 locations under their belts, officers have handed out close to 150 citations for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
SELF IMMOLATION ATTEMPT ON DASHCAM
Police have released dash cam footage showing the moment a man attempted to light himself on fire at a GAS station in Austin, Texas. Footage from the city's police department shows officers approaching Andrew Guerrero, 57, in the early hours of the morning to try and talk with him. Guerrero immediately gets into his vehicle and says, "I think I’m going to set the car on fire." As two officers race to the driver and passenger doors of the vehicle, a loud pop is heard and an explosion engulfs the car. Both officers cry as they are forced back by the flames, with Guerrero rolling out of the car door and onto the floor of the GAS station. One of the officers from the Austin Police Department said he saw Guerrero with a lighter in his hand shortly before the car was set alight. What is more astonishing in the video is what Guerrero did immediately after the explosion. (Warning: Viewers may find the following video distressing) After initially falling out of the vehicle, Guerrero picks himself up and climbs back into his car. Yet the 57-year-old screams in agony as he tries to remain in the car. Officers shout at Guerrero to get out of the vehicle and onto the floor. He eventually leaves the burning car, writhing in agony before being dragged away from the flames by police. Police say Guerrero was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge and then to the burn centER at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Police believe that he was trying to commit suicide. One of the two officers involved in the incident was taken to South Austin Medical Center with minor injuries to his arm.
ON TRIAL FOR SUICIDE TRY? 2007
With his hands folded in front of him and his voice showing little emotion, Austin police Sgt. Michael Barger told a Travis County jury Monday about a confrontation two years ago that made him think he was going to die. "I was outgunned," said Barger, who was a corporal during the April 22, 2007, shootout in East Austin. "To bring a handgun to a gunfight where the other person is armed with a rifle or shotgun, you've already given up your advantage." Barger was the first witness in the attempted capital murder trial of Jerel Lamar, 25. According to a police affidavit, Lamar told his brother earlier that day that he was going to go "on a killing spree." Lamar was arrested after his confrontation with Barger and a standoff with police that lasted more than 13 hours, prosecutor John Hunt said. If convicted of trying to kill Barger, he faces up to life in prison. Kellie Bailey, one of Lamar's defense lawyers, told the jury that Lamar shot at Barger but did not intend to kill him. "He intended to die that day," Bailey said during opening statements in senior state District Judge Jon Wisser's court. "He was suicidal." According to the affidavit, Lamar's brother, JA Andre Lamar, told police that he drove to his younger brother's duplex on Hyside Drive in East Austin because earlier in the day Jerel Lamar had gotten into a "physical altercation" with his girlfriend. JA Andre Lamar told police that his brother said he planned to shoot it out with police, to kill innocent people and "was going to make the recent mass murder at Virginia Tech look like a walk in the park," the affidavit said. JA Andre Lamar said that he wrestled with Jerel Lamar to keep him away from two guns before a police officer pulled up, the affidavit said. Barger, who has been on the Austin police force for 16 years, testified Monday that he was having trouble with his patrol car laptop computer that day and only learned that he was responding to a disturbance with a gun as he arrived. Barger said he should not have been there without backup. Standing behind his patrol car door, Barger pointed his gun while ordering the three men he saw to get on the ground, he testified. Two obeyed, but the other — later identified as Jerel Lamar — ran behind the house and returned a short time later with a shotgun, Barger said. Barger's patrol car video captured the scene, and the jury watched it Monday. It showed Lamar walking casually into view of the camera while Barger yelled for him to get on the ground. Then Lamar ran behind a car in the driveway and started firing at the patrol car. Barger said that after he fired a few shots, his gun jammed. He began to back his patrol car away from the scene. Then Lamar emerged in the clear and fired toward the car. "I observed him shooting at me as I was backing down the road," Barger said. "I saw the smoke from the barrel, and I could hear the ... gunshots."
GRANNY GETS A BUZZ ON 2009
Dash cam video has been released showing exactly what happened between a Constable's deputy and a 72-yEAr-old woman, before she was tasered last month. The officer says Kathryn Winkfein mouthed off, and was physically noncompliant. Winkfein told us that wasn't true. Precinct 3 Sgt. Maj. Gary Griffin says he's reviewed the dash cam footage and he's standing by his deputy--he says followed policy. Just after two in the afternoon on May 11, the video shows Deputy Chris Bieze stopping Kathryn Winkfein for speeding on a notoriously dangerous strip of Highway 71. After completing the paperwork, the officer returns to Winkfein's truck, but she refuses to sign the speeding ticket. "Take me to jail," Winkfein demands on the tape, "I'm a 72-year-old woman." That's when the deputy opens the driverside door to arrest the great-grandmother. "Give me the ******* ticket now," Winkfein curses. The deputy shoves her. "You're gonna push me? A 72-year-old woman?" The shove, the Constable's office says, served to get the two out of oncoming traffic. Then, the deputy warns her one of five times. "Stand back, " Bieze says. "I'm gonna tase you." She responds by saying, "I dare you." The deputy announces he's going to taser Winkfein, and the woman hits the ground as the taser is deployed. Winkfein agreed to talk with FOX 7 Monday. She told reporter Keri Bellacosa she'd like to see the video. When the news crew arrived at her home for the appointment, no one came to the door. But last Friday, Winkfein sat down with FOX 7 and told her side of the arrest. "I wasn't argumentative. I was no combative, okay? This is a lie. All of this is a lie. Pulled away from him I did not," she said on May 29. FOX 7 also requested an interview from Winkfein's attorney. He declined Monday. "There may be many viewers upset we deployed a taser," Sgt. Maj. Griffin said, "But she made a very simple interaction with police, a very difficult task. -------- A 72-year-old woman is pulled over for speeding, then tasered and sent to jail. Kathryn Winkfein says she drives to Austin about twice a month to do her shopping. But on a Monday afternoon, a Travis County Constable deputy pulled her over, on her way back to Granite Schoals. "Due to being a construction zone, and workers being present," Pct. 3 Constable Richard McCain said, "it was 45, she was doing 60." Winkfein admits she was speeding in the dangerous strip of Highway 71 and Bee Creek. "He explained to her," Constable McCain said, "sign the ticket stub, it's not an admission of guilt. It's a promise to appear in court. She didn't want to. She said take me to jail." That's when the officer says Winkfein exited her vehicle and didn't cooperate. "She refused to get off the side of the road, he said to her, Ma'am, you're under arrest. She used profanity," the Constable said. He adds she got violent, and the officer used a taser on her. Winkfein showed FOX 7 her taser scars. "Here and here. Two places, side by side. It's unreal. It's like an electric shock," she said. A shock Winkfein believes she didn't deserve. "I wasn't argumentative, I was not combative. This is a lie. All of this is a lie, pulled away from him I did not," she said, reading the arrest affidavit. The great-grandmother was taken to the Travis County Jail, where she was booked for resisting arrest and detention. She was released shortly after. Now, Winkfein has hired attorneys to protect her rights. When asked if it was appropriate for the arresting officer to have used a taser, Constable McCain answered yes.
BUFFALO HAS WILD WINGS! 2008
Officials took a bull into custody in a Northwest Austin subdivision on Tuesday afternoon, Travis County sheriff's office spokesman Roger Wade said. That's right, a bull. Wade said deputies were called to the 8300 block of Elander Drive, near RM 2222, about 2:30 p.m. to pick the animal up. He said that deputies do not know where the animal came from but that it was roaming the subdivision. A couple hours later, the bull was corralled and on its way to a sheriff's office substation on Burleson-Manor Road, which Wade said has an area where it can graze. No one was injured, Wade said.
Officer Dragged (2006)
Officer Brenda Bermudez of the Austin Police Department Initiated a stop of a Green Subaru Station Wagon driven by Twenty-four-year old Armando Torres for speeding. Also, after talking with Torres, he indicated that he knew the officer and Bermudez remembered an alteration a year prior where she had struggled with Torres during an arrest and Torres and pushed her and shoved her into a Glass Window at a 7-11 Store. Bermudez also realized from an earlier APB that the vehicle was stolen and that Torres was possibly intoxicated after noticing glassy eyes.... After Calling for Backup, and realizing that Torres had prior aggression with her Officer Bermudez waited for the backup to initiate an arrest but before backup could arrive Officer Bermudez reached into the vehicle because she thought Torrez was reaching for a weapon. Then Torrez engaged the vehicle to flee... Officer Bermudez was dragged nearly 15 feet before pushing out of the vehicle and then run over by the rear tire. Although seriously injured Officer Bermudez has recovered and is still an active police officer with APD. Armando Torres was arrested a short distance away at a Popeys restaurant and sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated assault on a police officer.
THEIR DUI’S ON FOUR LEGS 2011
Two men were arrested for driving while intoxicated on 6th Street Friday night. One was riding a horse, while the other was riding a mule. Austin police say the men were both intoxicated. They were apparently trying to lure people out of bars and into the street to take pictures with them and their farm animals. Bartender Brian Matthews thought he'd seen everything, that is until he walked outside to have a cigarette Friday night. "There were these two guys on horses, or mules, or something, outside of Shakespeare's," he said. "(It) looked like they were being pulled over for a DUI." Jose Rios, 33, and sidekick, Samuel Olivo, Jr., 48, parked their horse trailer near I-35 and 12th Street. They rode their mule and horse down to 6th Street, inviting peole to take pictures with them and their four-legged beasts. Police video shows the two being stopped by officers. In the video, Rios appeared to be so intoxicated that he couldn't even finish his sobriety test. Austin police arrested the pair for DWI. "The law has recently changed and the motor vehicle definition is a little ambiguous, but they felt that it would fit that criteria," said Commander Jason Dusterhoft, of the Austin Police Department. The DWI charges may be lowered to public intoxication. "In the city of Austin it is legal to ride a horse on a public street," said Commander Dusterhoft. "What we were obviously concerned about is them being intoxicated, inviting people out into the street causing a danger, causing a danger ... to themselves, the public, the horses." "Well, it was unusual. You certainly don't get these types of arrests. This is the first time I've ever encountered this," said Tony Plohetski, a writer for the Austin American Statesman who first reported the story. "I think one of the big questions that I think a lot of people are going to have is, was this really against the law? Is it against the law to be intoxicated going down a city street on a farm animal? And there are, from the best I can tell, different opinions about that." One of the cowboys was so intoxicated that police say he had to be hospitalized. The animals were taken to animal control and it isn't clear if they're back with their owner.
COP'S TERRIFYING DRAG NO RACE
A TAPE RELEASED ALMOST A YEAR AFTER IT HAPPENED SHOWS THE ORDEAL A FEMALE POLICE OFFICER WENT THROUGH AFTER A ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP. OFFICER BRENDA BERMUDEZ HAD PULLED OVER A SUSPECT FOR SPEEDING WHEN THE SUSPECT CHANGED HIS MIND AND TOOK OFF. THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS THAT BERMUDEZ WAS STILL ATTACHED TO THE CAR! THE SUSPECT DRAGGED HER 15-FEET AND RAN OVER HER LEGS. THE SUSPECT ARMANDO TORRES RECEIVED A 20-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A PUBLIC SERVANT. THE OFFICER HAD REACHED INTO THE CAR BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT THE SUSPECT HAD A WEAPON. SHE HAS SINCE RETURNED TO DUTY.
OLD LADY DRAGGED BY CAR 1992
AN OLD WOMAN GETS PULLED OVER AND FORGETS TO PUT HER CAR IN PARK AND GOES TO GET OUT. THE CAR ROLLS DOWN HILL AND IT DRAGS HER WITH IT!
REDNECK VETTE GUY FIGHTS WITH DPS 1994
QUITE A COMBO PLATTER OF THINGS CAUGHT ON TAPE ON THIS DASHCAM FROM TEXAS. FIRST, TRANSAM IS PULLED OVER AND THE DRIVER IS A VERY STEREOTYPICAL REDNECK HICK WITH MULLET TO BOOT. WHEN HE'S ABOUT TO BE ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING THERE'S A STRUGGLE WITH THE COP AND THE MAN'S NEIGHBORS...ALSO T-SHIRT AND BALLCAP COOTER TYPE GUYS COME TO HELP THE COPS. THE KICKER IS WHEN THE MAN'S WIFE SHOWS UP, GOES INTO THE CAR AS THE COP IS SEARCHING THE VEHICLE AND GRABS HUBBY'S DRUG STASH AND SHOVES IT DOWN HER BRA!
HOLIDAY TASERING NOW TRAINING VIDEO 2006
Forty-five seconds. That's how much time went by from the moment when Corp. Thomas O'Connor approached a car during a routine traffic stop to when he fired his taser at the unsuspecting driver. That is not the way I want my officers conducting business," Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said. Chief Acevedo said he was appalled when he first saw the tape. "It is my opinion the officer escalated instead of de-escalated the stop," he said. It was an incident that happened last Thanksgiving, long before he took office. Now, almost a year later, he's using it in a training video to demonstrate to other officers how not to use taser guns. The video goes on to show the dash-cam video of the holiday traffic stop. In it, you hear the driver, Eugene Snelling, ask why he was being pulled over. Snelling had his mom and cousin in the new car -- he was allegedly going five miles over the speed limit. O'Connor asked a second time for his driver's license and proof of insurance, and when Snelling doesn't hand it over fast enough, O'Connor tasered Snelling. O'Connor was put on a three day probation after the incident. He is still on the police force today. Since 2004 when APD implemented taser guns, there have been 17 allegations of improper use by officers. Acevedo tells officers watching the video to ask themselves if they would want their family member to be treated this way. And to ask themselves, "Am I that officer? Am I treating people that way for a minor traffic violation? And if you are, please change your behavior." Dash-Cam Video Shows Officer's Improper Taser Use Austin's police chief is using video of what he calls an embarrassment to teach police about the proper use of force. The dashboard camera video provided by the Austin Police Department shows a driver pulled over by Cpl. Thomas O'Connor in November. O'Connor quickly loses control. Cpl. O'Connor: "Step out of the vehicle. Step out of the vehicle. Step out of the vehicle, give me your driver's license and proof of insurance. Step to the back of the vehicle, put your hands on the vehicle. Step to the back of the vehicle. Taser needed!" The driver can be heard screaming in the video. Chief Art Acevedo is showing the video to other officers as a training tool of what not to do. O'Connor was suspended for three days by then Acting Chief Cathy Ellison. Chief Acevedo firm: No more stunts like this Austin, TX, "Statesman"; Editorial Board; 9/30/07 http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/editorial/entries/2007/09/29/acevedo_firm_no_more_stunts_li.html A somber Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is seen on the video asking officers to consider three questions as they watch how a fellow officer conducted a minor traffic stop last year: Would they want their family members to be treated in the same manner as the suspect if stopped by an officer? Would officers be proud of the Austin Police Department if someone outside of the organization saw the tape that recorded the officer’s rudeness and unprovoked use of force? Acevedo looks directly at the camera and asks the third question: “I really want you to take a good hard look inside of yourself and determine, `Am I that officer - am I treating people that way for minor traffic violations?’ “ Those questions signal a titanic shift in the Austin Police Department. It’s a welcome shift that will benefit officers and Austin. With those questions, Acevedo drives home problems that tend to undermine public confidence in police, specifically a lack of transparency that cloaks wrongful - at times outrageous - conduct by Austin officers. By all accounts (except for the department’s Internal Affairs division) the conduct of Cpl. Thomas O’Connor was truly outrageous, when he stopped a driver on MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) last year for going five miles over the speed limit. The driver, Eugene Snelling, was on his way to a family Thanksgiving dinner with his mother, who sat next to him. His cousin was in the back seat of Snelling’s new car. American-Statesman writer Tony Plohetski details the incident, as well as the fallout, in today’s editions. It’s a compelling and informative story that provides a window on the city police department, its policies and the new chief’s leadership. Video of the traffic stop can be viewed at www.statesman.com. The case confirms the value of video cameras in patrol cars. The tape shows that when Snelling seems to question the officer about why he is being stopped and about the officer’s rude manner, O’Connor becomes more agitated, drawing his Taser. Forty-five seconds after demanding Snelling’s license and insurance, O’Connor shot 50,000 volts of electricity into Snelling, who crumples to the pavement. The department’s Internal Affairs division exonerated O’Connor. Some will look at the video and say O’Connor’s conduct is routine - that’s the way Austin police deal with people, especially minority suspects. The difference this time, they will say, is that the incident was caught on video. Snelling is black. O’Connor is white. This is not the only incident in which O’Connor disregarded department policies over minor traffic violations. His actions didn’t sit well with many officers, though, including former acting Chief Cathy Ellison, who recognized O’Connor’s unprovoked use of force. Despite being cleared by Internal Affairs, Ellison suspended O’Connor for three days without pay. That single action moved O’Connor’s disciplinary records and the video into the public domain. O’Connor is still on the force. Austin’s police monitor Cliff Brown also deserves credit. His office viewed the video and pressured the department to use it as a training tool of what not to do. As the new chief, Acevedo took that advice and is using the video and the case to convey his intent to transform the department’s closed culture. He is shining a light on wrongdoing by officers and building a department that officers and residents can be proud of. Acevedo ends his talk on the video by answering his third question: “If you are (this officer in the video), please change your behavior because this administration owes it to the hard-working men and women of the department to hold people accountable. In circumstances like this, we will hold people accountable and the penalty will be very severe.”