Travis County District Attorney launches online form to report police abuses

Police line at Austin protests in June
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office released a tool June 12 to make it easier for individuals to report instances of police abuse. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office released a tool June 12 to make it easier for individuals to report instances of police abuse. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

One day after Austin City Council voted on a series of police reforms, the Travis County District Attorney’s office released a tool to make it easier for people to report instances of police abuse.

On June 12, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore announced that her office has launched a citizen’s complaint form to its website for individuals looking to report cases of excessive force committed by police officers and other public servants. The new complaint form can be found here.

The Travis County District Attorney's Office Civil Rights Division does not investigate administrative or civil cases from allegations of public servant misconduct or use of force, according to the county’s website. Previously, the district attorney’s office only advised individuals to contact low-cost legal representation in order to obtain legal representation to help with civil rights complaints.

According to its website, the district attorney’s office still advises residents to first contact the agency of the offending officer in order to file a complaint, but this form now provides an additional avenue to register a civil rights complaint.

If individuals are not comfortable filing a complaint with the agency of the offending officer or if they do not find it feasible to do so, the new form on the district attorney’s website is a resource for people looking to file a complaint.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office states on its website that its Civil Rights Unit will help advise individuals who file this form on how to proceed with the complaint.

In a June 13 post on Twitter, Moore state her office has open investigations into excessive police force that occurred in the past several weeks.

"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," Moore wrote. "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."

In 2017, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office formed its own civil rights division, which is divided into the civil rights unit and the conviction integrity unit, according to the county.

County records indicate there are eight pending officer-involved shooting investigations in Travis County, including the April 24 shooting of Michael Ramos, an unarmed black man who was killed when an Austin police officer shot him three times with a rifle.

The public can additionally file an in-person complaint with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


Utility work is related to ongoing construction of a bypass of RM 2222 and RM 620. (Courtesy Fotolia)
TxDOT lane closure scheduled for RM 620 beginning May 9

Drivers in west Travis County headed southbound on RM 620 should expect delays beginning at RM 2222 to Steiner Ranch Boulevard on May 9 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Work crews with the Texas Department of Transportation will have the right lane closed due to utility work.

Tents have become a common sight throughout Austin including along Cesar Chavez Street downtown, but with the passage of Proposition B the city may now consider moving unsheltered homeless individuals to designated sites. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Designated campsites for the homeless are back on the table

City staff had previously dismissed developing official camping locations in 2019, but new directives from City Council this week could revive the concept in Austin.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

The current legislative session is in its final month, and lawmakers have been considering a number of proposed bills to address the widespread power and water outages that occurred as a result of the February winter storm. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper).
Texas Legislature moves flurry of winter storm bills

How ERCOT communicates with other state agencies under review by state lawmakers.

bagdad road leander
New Leander transportation plan outlines $320 million in road projects over 10 years

The plan lays out a few projects for the city to consider each year.

The Highland Tech Center is an office complex that finished redevelopment in March. (Courtesy Aquila Commercial)
North Central Austin business news: Office complex opens in Highland, picnic meals offered in the parks and more

Mes Amis is an outdoor dining service that provides baskets with French-style cuisine for picnics. Two new fitness studios, Hive + Honey and Regymen, are also now open.

Stephanie Hayden-Howard will become an assistant city manager in Austin on May 10. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Role changes coming for health officials leading Austin-Travis County COVID-19 efforts

Dr. Desmar Walkes will take over as Austin's next medical director and local health authority as Dr. Mark Escott and Stephanie Hayden-Howard transition to new roles with the city.

Barton Springs Pool, shown here in March 2020, will require reservations for residents wishing to visit after 8 a.m. starting on May 17. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Barton Springs Pool will require reservations starting May 21

Visitors who want to visit the pool after 8 a.m. will have to make a reservation for a two-hour block of time.

Program plans call for expanding University Boulevard between A.W. Grimes Boulevard and SH 130. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock commits another $30M to Driving Progress road projects

Projects breaking ground this month include expanding University Boulevard and widening Gattis School Road.

Road closure stock image
TxDOT to demolish I-35 ramp in North Austin early Saturday morning

State crews will perform controlled implosions of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover between 6-8 a.m. in the morning on May 8 and May 15.