Austin man who allegedly hit police officer won't be prosecuted, Travis County DA says

Travis County's District Attorney will not prosecute an Austin man who allegedly hit a police officer earlier this year during a fight. The incident happened on 6th Street and was recorded by more than one camera.

The DA's decision is now bringing calls for the officers who were involved to be fired and prosecuted.

Video from a by-stander shows Austin police striking Elisha Wright as they took him into custody following a fight on 6th Street May 1. What the video doesn’t show is Wright striking one of the officers, which police said allegedly happened a few moments earlier. 

"These officers who not only beat Elisha, but lied on him, they have a history of doing this to other citizens in Austin," said Justin Moore, Wright’s attorney.

Wednesday, at a news Conference with the Austin Justice Coalition, Moore announced his client will not be prosecuted.

"This supports our initial claim that Elisha was the victim in this particular predicament," said Moore.

Travis County DA Jose Garza filed a notification that it was in the interest of justice to not prosecute Wright. The decision goes against what Austin police claim happened May 1. 

FOX 7 requested APD to comment and provide an update. The department doubled down on it original statement from May and stood by the allegation.

"Officers attempted to de-escalate the situation, but Mr. Wright and his companion sought to continue the altercation."

The APD statement continues to claim Wright hit the officer in the face.

"Officers observed that Mr. Wright and his companion were the aggressors and took steps to arrest them. Mr. Wright hit an officer in the face with his fist, causing an injury before officers could arrest Mr. Wright and his companion."

Moore showed police body cam video from the May 1 incident. Officers can be seen trying to break up a fight, but it does not completely follow the APD police report narrative.

"This is the alleged incident. You see Elisha breaking up the fight. The officer pushes Elisha even though he wasn’t being the aggressor. Elisha gets up to explain himself. He puts his hand on Elisha. Elisha slaps his hand away. The officer then pushes him."

Moore does not believe the slap Wright did is the same as a punch to the face.

"Well the officer had already pushed him hard to the ground, so the officer is already charged up," said Moore.

Moore accuses the police officers at the scene of falsifying the arrest report.

"If the DA doesn’t hold these officers accountable, if the police department does not fire these officers, immediately, for not only brutalizing this citizen, but also lying about it, they will be supporting, they will be supporting police misconduct," said Moore.

Officials with the Travis County DA’s office did not respond to requests for comment.