An APD Officer was suspended for using excessive force. But the Austin Police Association says the officer didn't do anything wrong.
Officer Sean McWhorter and his partner responded to a possible drunk driver call near Montopolis Drive around 10:30 on New Year's Eve 2011.
The officers were called after a witness said a car crashed into a wooden fence. McWhorter identified the suspect as 22-year-old Frank Estrada.
Estrada told officers several stories and was slurring.
Estrada was moved into the street for questioning and a sobriety test but he refused to answer questions.
Estrada is put in handcuffs and while the officers begin to search him. He became aggressive and charged towards Officer McWhorter. McWhorter and two other officers held Estrada down by the neck as McWhorter gave him a warning.
"You don't want to do that to me do you understand?" said McWhorter.
Estrada spit in the officer's face.
Then McWhorter slammed Estrada against the hood of the car.
McWhorter was suspended for five days for using unreasonable force.
Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent believes McWhorter's punishment was too harsh.
"It didn't look pretty but the officer's intention wasn't to punish this guy or to injure him it was to get this individual under control and to react immediately to what we consider an assault on a police officer," said Vincent.
APD says officer McWhorter, who has been with the force since 2007, is a good officer. But they say in this situation he could have shown more restraint since the suspect was already handcuffed.
They say the suspension was to correct the officer's behavior but Vincent says it just makes and officer's job harder.
"Any officer that has been found guilty of excessive force is going to walk on eggshells the rest of their career, because this chief will fire them if there is another incident like this," said Vincent.
Officer McWhorter has already served his five day suspension.
Estrada was charged with DWI and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail.