Video appears to show APD officer using pepper spray on restrained man
The Austin Police Department is launching an internal investigation into a video that appears to show an APD officer using pepper spray on a restrained man.
The video was provided to KEYE TV by the Peaceful Streets Project. The incident begins at 3:40 in the video below.
The Office of the Police Monitor is investigating. They tell us there are restrictions to officers using spray on restrained people.
There is no timetable for the investigation at this time.
Austin Police released the following statement:
The Austin Police Department is aware of the incident captured on video and has launched an internal investigation. Anyone with information on this incident should contact the Austin Office of The Police Monitor at (512) 974-9090.
Austin Police Association vice president Andrew Romero also released the following statement:
"We're aware of the video, and it's easy for some to criticize those few seconds on tape, but what the video doesn't show is what happened in the hours that led up to that moment. A full investigation will reveal more information about what led to the officer's actions."
In a press conference the Peaceful Streets Project said there's no justification for what happened.
"The cop committed a crime, it's clear as day, there's absolutely no justification for it. This officer should be arrested and charged for assault," Antonio Buehler with the Peaceful Streets Project said.
Festival goers Friday afternoon also said there's no excuse for what the officer did.
"I really didn't see a logical reason for him to use such force," India Prahskar from Louisiana said.
"There's literally like no excuse for that," Zohaib Hoodn said.
However, many did have sympathy for officers trying to manage the SXSW crowds downtown.
"Cops are all human they make mistakes but they're supposed to be held at a higher standard than everyone else because they're here to protect us," Hoodn said.