APD officer involved in May shooting indefinitely suspended - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD officer involved in May shooting indefinitely suspended

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An Austin police officer has been suspended indefinitely from the force.

On the morning of May 8, Austin Police Officer Justin Boehm fires his weapon at James Barton during a traffic stop.

"APD is trigger happy, literally, and they need not be," said Jim Harrington, with the Texas Civil Rights Project, who is representing Barton as they take the case to federal court. "This has got to stop. This really has got to stop."

The officer's dash cam video shows Barton being pulled over for running a red light.

Watch as he gets out of his truck and starts to reach to his side.

Boehm says he thought Barton had a weapon and feared for his life.

Barton ducks, nearly getting hit.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said, "When you look at the totality of this incident and you look at Mr. Barton's actions and the officer's actions, it was objectionably unreasonable."

A Travis County grand jury recently decided not to indict the officer, but Police Chief Art Acevedo says the department still had to do an administrative investigation.

"It was not reasonable and therefore, under our policies, the only appropriate discipline, in those certain circumstances, is indefinite suspension," said Acevedo.

When we're pulled over by police. We're told to stay inside the car, where they can see our hands, but James Barton's attorney says his client was taught differently.

Harrington said, "When we learned driver's ed, we taught to get out of the car and go back toward the police so they could see you didn't have anything."

A panel unanimously decided Boehm committed three policy violations, including his behavior after the shot was fired.

Acevedo added, "Another thing that was really disturbing to the chain, even after we see the wallet on the ground, it's clearly a wallet. He now knows it wasn't a firearm, his conduct subsequent as seeing that is not consistent with what we expect as the Austin Police Department."

FOX 7 asked Barton's attorney what he said when he found out Boehm had been let go.

Harrington said, "He said, 'I feel safer.'"

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