Austin officer disciplined for violating chase policy

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

AUSTIN -- An Austin police officer has been suspended for violating the Austin Police Department's chase policy.

According to a discipline memo released by the City of Austin, Officer Jermaine Gaspard initiated a traffic stop on Oct. 9, 2012. Officer Gaspard stopped the car because of loud music and failure to signal.

According to the memo, when Officer Gaspard exited his patrol car, the driver sped away. The officer then got back into his car and followed after the suspect with his overhead lights on. He did not activate his siren.

Officer Gaspard gave updates on the police radio, saying the suspect ran a stop sign. An APD Sergeant ended the pursuit after he discovered the chase was for failure to signal.

According to the memo, Officer Gaspard violated the pursuit policy under the section, "Restrictions and vehicle pursuits."

That section of the policy states, "Officers will not engage in a pursuit under any of the following circumstances: 1. Any Class C Offense, including traffic; or 2. A non-hazardous traffic violation, regarless of the class of the offense."

Also the policy states, "All officers involved in a pursuit shall operate their police unit with emergency lights and siren activated."

According to the memo, Officer Gaspard was temporarily suspended for two days and he does have the right to appeal.

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