Indicted Austin police officer, charged with excessive force

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin police officer was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury, charged with one felony and two felonies following an alleged assault in March 2021, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said in a statement. a statement.

Officer Alejandro Gaitan was charged with aggravated assault by a public official, a felony in the first degree and two counts of official oppression, class A felonies, according to the release.

Court Orders Travis County District Attorney to Enter Grand Jury in Use of Force by Law Enforcement Case

Gaitan is accused of using excessive force while trying to arrest a person who had an outstanding warrant on March 12, 2021, the statement said.

The Austin Police Department released a statement on Tuesday, saying the incident has been sent to the APD’s Special Investigations Unit for review.

“This use of force incident, like all use of force incidents at the APD, immediately underwent an internal review process to determine whether it was within policy and the law,” the statement read. . “Following these reviews, in March 2021, Chief Chacon made the decision to place Officer Gaitan on limited duty. On February 13, 2023, due to official felony and misdemeanor charges through “Information” by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Chief Chacon took the extra step to suspend Officer Gaitan without pay.

“I respect the grand jury process and, for that reason, made the decision at that time to delay taking further administrative action until the case could be heard by a Travis County grand jury, consistent with the previous practice,” APD chief Joseph Chacon said in a statement.

The APD said two other officers linked to the incident received 90-day suspensions after they failed to intervene, according to its statement.

The incident was referred to the Travis County District Attorney’s office by the APD’s Special Investigations Unit in June 2021, the release said.

The case will be prosecuted by the office’s Civil Rights Unit, the statement said.

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