AUSTIN -- A fired Austin police officer is fighting for his job. The department indefinitely suspended Officer Christopher Allen for what Chief Art Acevedo called a "reckless pursuit."
Allen's appeal hearing began Wednesday morning at the Austin Learning and Research Center in Southeast Austin.
A grand jury cleared Allen of criminal wrongdoing last September, but the department’s disciplinary board handed down an indefinite suspension in October. Chief Acevedo says Allen violated a number of department policies during a December 2011 pursuit. Acevedo says Allen shot at a suspect 14 times.
Gunfire can be heard in dash camera video released from the night of the pursuit. According to APD papers, Allen fired four rounds into the suspect's car window as he pulled out of a driveway in an attempt to escape from officers. Documents show Allen then ran on foot, down the street chasing the suspect, firing another 10 times.
“A couple of our officers had to actually take cover to ensure that they did not get shot themselves,” said Chief Acevedo.
Allen spent nearly a year on restrictive duty before he was fired.
It's unclear how long his appeal hearing could last. The department has set aside five days for testimony and deliberation.