5 APD officers indicted for actions during May 2020 protests sue city, others

Five Austin Police Department officers are suing after being indicted for use-of-force crimes during protests in downtown Austin in 2020.

The group of officers is suing the City of Austin, Austin Justice Coalition, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the Mike Ramos Brigade and more.

The lawsuit claims the officers were given expired less-than-lethal bean bag rounds which caused injuries to protesters and they used force to protect Austin, while being attacked with rocks, bottles and urine.

You can read the full lawsuit below:

The Austin Justice Coalition, a group the APD officers are suing, released statements on the incident. 

"This is nothing but a weak tactic to scare social justice groups and progressively minded Austinites out of exercising our first amendment rights," said Chas Moore, Founder and Executive Director of Austin Justice Coalition. "It won’t work. Not only will we continue to stand up against oppression, we will continue to gather our communities, organize against injustice and advocate for an Austin that is safe and equitable for all - sometimes that will mean taking it to our streets. As the great Assata Shakur said, ‘we have nothing to lose but our chains.'"

"Incredibly, this lawsuit ineptly targets Austin Justice Coalition in an attempt to incite fear and intimidation in a political climate where police are being publicly shamed for their cowardice and lack of competence in the aftermath of the Uvalde tragedy," said Rockie Gonzalez, Deputy Director of Austin Justice Coalition. "Our people have a right to free speech and assembly -a fundamental pillar of democracy- and we will continue to organize, defend, and exercise that right."

Twenty-one APD officers have been indicted for their actions during the May 2020 protests.

The District Attorney said the officers allegedly used excessive force during the protests, which at times turned violent with rocks and urine filled bottles thrown at police. Bean bags fired from shotguns were used on several occasions. It has been suggested the munitions fired at protesters were faulty, and senior command staff was aware of the problem

Recently the Grand Jury review of the actions by police was expanded to include Chief Joseph Chacon and former Chief Brian Manley and possibly 10 more officers.