Austin police officer cleared by Grand Jury after tasing homeless man

A Travis County Grand Jury has decided not to press charges against an Austin police officer who tased a homeless man in August.

Officer Christopher Van Buren was suspended for three months after an internal investigation of the incident concluded he had unnecessarily used his taser.

On August 27, officers responded to calls that a homeless man was exposing himself and urinating in public outside a restaurant in the 2700 block of Gonzales Street.
               
When Austin police officers approached suspect Armando Martinez he was lying on his back with a black bag under his head in a nearby park.
               
After asking Martinez to stand up and show his hands a few times, Van Buren pulled his taser.

According to the Austin Police Department,Van Buren deployed his taser "in spite of having an additional officer present and being unable to articulate a reasonable justification for the tasing." That's why Van Buren was suspended for 90 days in January. He even agreed to the suspension, giving up his right to appeal the decision.
               
After listening to six hours of testimony, a Grand Jury decided the officer should not face charges.

Meanwhile, Martinez was cited for two class C misdemeanors, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Martinez said he was slow to respond to the officers commands because he suffers from severe neuropathy.
 

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