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Acevedo Docked Pay, Reprimanded After Comments on David Joseph Shooting

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo speaking on the investigation into the shooting death of 17-year-old David Joseph on February 11, 2016.

City of Austin Manager Marc Ott has reprimanded Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, docked him five days pay and warned him he could be fired for continued insubordination for his comments surrounding the shooting of David Joseph earlier this year, according to a report from the Austin American-Statesman.

The police chief is publicly disagreeing with the city manager’s reprimand and Tuesday night was retweeting supporters (he has since undone those retweets) who said the real problem was with Ott. 

At issue were comments Acevedo made about the police shooting of David Joseph, an African-American 17-year-old who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer who is also black, Geoffrey Freeman. In a memo dated April 15th, Ott scolds Acevedo for speaking to cadets, other Austin police officers and the police association president about the pending Internal Affairs investigation. Freeman was eventually fired for the shooting. Below you can read the full series of internal memos which include: 

  •  Notice of Complaint, dated April 12, 2016
  • Conclusions of internal review related to APA complaint, dated April 15, 2016
  • Conclusions of internal review related to concerns of insubordination, dated April 15, 2016
  • Memorandum of disciplinary action, dated April 15, 2016

In the disciplinary memo, Ott says Acevedo must improve his behavior or he could face termination. Acevedo says he disagrees with the city manager’s reprimand, but said in a statement released yesterday that he recognizes Ott’s right to exercise that authority:

"I acted in the best interests of the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, and community after a tragic incident that cost a young life and ended a police officer’s career. While I disagree with the manager’s reprimand, I recognize his right to exercise that authority. The manager and I have worked together for nearly nine years. Disagreements are inevitable. I look forward to putting this behind us and continuing a productive partnership."

​You can watch Acevedo's remarks at the press conference announcing the departmental investigation into the shooting:

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