AUSTIN, Texas - The Travis County District Attorney's office has added an online complaint form for citizens to report incidents of excessive force by police officers.
"We have always encouraged citizens to make independent reports to our Office when they think they have been a victim of unlawful force by a public servant," she said. "But we are adding an electronic form to our website that will hopefully make the process easier for the public to access and use. It will also allow our prosecutors to review the complaints in a more efficient way."
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In addition to the new form, the TCDA website sets out other information including annual statistics about cases handled by the Unit, copies of declination letters issued in cases where prosecution is declined, a description of the special grand juries used specifically for civil rights cases, and a list of the community members on the Civil Rights Advisory Council.
The site also has a Frequently Asked Questions section and provides contact information for the Unit.
Moore said that a common misconception about cases like this is that they are easy to resolve and should be immediately presented to a grand jury.
"While I agree that the public is entitled to swift action and transparency to ensure justice for all sides, we have to make sure there is a thorough investigation into the facts of each case we receive. Sometimes this involves subpoenaing lab reports, phone records, ballistic reports, medical records, and other documents that are crucial to the case," Moore said. "It takes time to get these items from outside sources. To ensure the process is fair, we have to be able to anticipate the kinds of information the grand juries will want to know before we take a case before them."
She says that this is the same process that takes place in all felony cases.