ATF agents travel to Austin to give lecture on 'use of force'

ATF agents are traveling the country giving use-of-force seminars to media professionals. 

Senior Special Agent James Balthazar launched the initiative following 2020 protests over police use-of-force. 

On Wednesday, Austin became the seventeenth city the agents visited on their speaking tour. They hosted the training at the Round Rock Public Safety Training Center. 

"We wanted to put this training together to go around the country and try to educate the public through the media about the realities of police use-of-force in America. There was a lot of civil unrest around the country and there was a lot of focus on police use-of-force." said Balthazar. 

The six-hour training has both a hands-on and lecture component — which includes the DOJ use of force policy, Supreme Court cases, deescalation, and the body’s "fight or flight" response. 

"When a law enforcement officer uses force the Supreme Court has made clear that there’s one question and that is based on the totality of the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time they used force – was that force reasonable? So each individual officers actions are to be judged based on that question," said Deputy Chief Paul Massock.

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