Austin Police sued again for 2015 jaywalking incident

According to a complaint filed on Thursday…in the early morning hours of November 6th 2015, Matthew Wallace was walking with a group of friends from Sixth Street to catch a ride home with a Lyft driver.
               
When the group crossed Red River, the lawsuit claims Austin Police officers unexpectedly charged them.

"We were pretty much bamboozled by a group of bicycle police on Sixth Street and only seconds in is when they start assaulting me and trying to put me to the ground," Wallace said.

The group had allegedly jaywalked. Wallace was among the arrests. 

He was charged with resisting arrest. "It was excessive force so I was protecting myself.  At least standing my ground is what I would say it was more," Wallace.

Wallace's attorney Brian McGivrin says that charge was eventually thrown out. 

"These kids allegedly jaywalked.  Whether that's true or not, charging them and throwing punches and knees, throwing them face-first on the ground is not an appropriate response," McGivrin said. 

Wallace says he reached out to McGivrin because he's representing two other people who were involved -- Lourdes Glen and Jeremy King were also arrested.  That lawsuit is still pending.  Now Wallace is suing the officers for excessive force, lack of accountability and discrimination.

"Just didn't assume something as blatantly racist as that could happen in a city a like this," Wallace said.  "We really do have power when we organize the right way and that no one's above the law even police officers."

The City of Austin told FOX 7 "We are currently litigating another lawsuit related to this incident but have not yet been served with this new lawsuit."

The group that held the press conference is also hoping the city will make some changes to their contract with the Austin Police Association.  They feel that will create more accountability.  The APA sent Fox 7 this statement: “Our priority is for the safety and well-being of the citizens of Austin. Our city has been heralded as one of the safest in the country and that is because of the men and women of the Austin Police Department.  We are not able to speak to any of the specifics of the negotiation but are confident that our agreement will maintain our standing as one of the most transparent police departments in the country.”

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