Austin man in viral video sues APD officers
An Austin man is suing three Austin police officers for excessive force.
Louis Aguilar filed the lawsuit on Monday, two years to the day since the incident in 2015. He says three Austin police officers beat, choked and stunned him when they responded to his apartment.
“I was never under arrest, never was asked to be detained, put in handcuffs, it was just a simple can you come outside so I can ask you some questions, that’s all it was about,” Aguilar said Wednesday.
Austin Police would not comment on what happened. A city spokesperson said in a statement, “We have not yet received the lawsuit, but will review the claims made once we receive it and take appropriate action at that time.”
Aguilar said it started when police responded for a domestic call after he and his girlfriend were arguing. An officer asked him to go outside. Aguilar says the officer tried to handcuff him and when Aguilar didn’t want to, that’s when things escalated.
“It was one of the worst experiences ever,” Aguilar said.
Eventually he put his hands up and police arrested him. Aguilar said he fought his charges, including a charge for assaulting a public servant when he pushed an officer, and he was never convicted.
However, the video has haunted him since. The lawsuit says the video has been seen 29 million times. That’s brought unwanted attention.
“People would just look at me and if I was with my brother, oh my god they were just, it felt like crowds were like just look just look,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said the video cost him job opportunities and he received threatening and hateful messages on Facebook.
However, he says the lawsuit will help bring justice.
“I feel like this is me just showing if you keep on pushing and working towards that you can reach an outcome where you’re not in jail,” Aguilar said.
“That does look to be excessive force,” Grassroots Leadership Norma Herrera said.
Herrera said the video was appalling and showed a rapid escalation.
“They just skip right over the part of having a conversation with another human being,” Herrera said.
However, she said some may say the officers are just doing their job. That’s why she wants the community to be a part of the process to define what is excessive force.
“The community does want a voice,” Herrera said.
She said they’re currently in negotiations with the city and APD to be a part of those talks.