Man who sued police for excessive force awarded $154,000

Thursday the City of Austin gave a man who sued police for excessive force $154,000.

In April 2011, Carlos Chacon felt he got caught up in a situation involving criminal activity.

"What I did is, as a good citizen, is I called the police and I reported it. I identified myself fully with a description of my vehicle and myself. I stayed on the phone the whole time with the operator and I waited for the police to arrive," Chacon said.  

When police arrived, Chacon was surprised to find himself on the other end of officer's guns. 
"Their guns were drawn, pointed at me. They were shouting at me. They were cursing at me. I was trying to identify myself as a person that called the police. They did not listen or engage in the conversation," Chacon said.  
Chacon was Tased, beaten and charged with resisting arrest. 
"It was a very, very painful experience. To see somebody who has never been in a problem with the law, somebody that has never been in trouble, and most important that has a good reputation in the community, both in the state and locally, to be treated like that… When you continued to very slowly identify yourself and tell them, 'You're making a mistake. I'm the person who called 911. I'm the person that called 911,'" said Chacon. 
Charges against Chacon were dropped, but he filed a civil suit claiming Austin Police officer Russell Rose used excessive force. 
"They just attacked me and threw me on the ground and beat me up," Chacon said. 
In March a federal jury awarded Chacon $1 million. That amount was reduced to $60,000 by Federal Judge Sam Sparks a few months later. 
Chacon said it was never about the money. Instead, he hopes his case sends a message to Austin law enforcement. 
"I don't know when we lost this contact with the police, law enforcement agencies, where citizens could call in to have them come in to help us alleviate the situation in which our life is being threatened and we become a threat to them," Chacon said.   
Thursday Austin City Council agreed to increase Chacon's settlement to $154,000 to cover legal fees. 
Chacon has since moved to Houston, because he said he lived in fear of Austin police officers following his arrest, but he hopes he leaves behind a goal for law enforcement and Austinites alike. 
"We need to recapture those communications, that respect, mutual respect from citizens to them and from them to us," said Chacon.  
Chacon isn't just advocating for changes at Austin Police Department. He says he fears there is a trend of militarized police in the country.  He hopes his story is one of many that remind law enforcement officers that not everyone they encounter on a call is a criminal.
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