APD Chief gives fiery interview on UT Jaywalking incident - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD Chief gives fiery interview on UT 'Jaywalking' incident

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The pictures have taken social media by storm. A young jogger named Amanda Jo Stephen in cuffs near the UT campus.

In a fiery press conference at the Austin Police Department Friday, Chief Art Acevedo says the officers were only doing their job.

"This officer hears the other officer yelling for someone to 'stop!' Immediately starts running after the individual and is yelling at her to stop, 'Austin Police, stop!' So now you have two officers yelling at this person," Acevedo said.

As the girl was running along, Acevedo says an officer ran up right beside her with his APD hat on and told her to stop. When she didn't, that's when he grabbed her arm.

Acevedo says Stephen failed to identify herself and was far from cooperative. So the officer ultimately arrested her for failure to identify.

Much of the social media traffic criticized the police for grabbing the woman from behind -- saying it most likely startled her.

Ricky Melendez and Chris Quintero were sitting across the street. Quintero doesn't think the officer did run up beside her like Acevedo said.

"I think he grabbed her slightly from behind. It may not be from far behind but enough to where she didn't notice who was grabbing her right away," he said.

"Whether or not he grabbed her by behind it doesn't...it's not relevant! At some point she knows it's a cop! The cop asked her a lawful question that she is lawfully required to answer and she didn't! That's why she went to jail," Acevedo said.

Acevedo says the woman was only arrested for failure to identify, not resisting arrest. He says if he had arrested her, he wouldn't have been so generous.

"At the end of the day, that officer has to stop them somehow. He didn't tackle her to the ground, you know, it's kind of interesting what passes for controversy in Austin, Texas. Thank you Lord that there's a controversy in Austin, Texas that we actually had the audacity to touch somebody by the arm and tell them 'Oh my goodness, Austin Police, we're trying to get your attention.' Whew! In other cities, cops are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas," Acevedo said.

According to the chief, the two officers at the intersection were actually working a pedestrian traffic initiative at the request of those that live and work in the neighborhood -- trying to reduce the number of complaints and overall violations in the area.

Thursday they stopped 28 people and gave 7 citations.

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