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‘Don’t make me slam you’: Austin officer fired in 2017 use of force incident, memo says

At some point during a struggle with a woman, the Austin Police Department said an officer said to her, 'Don't make me slam you,' before the other officer pushed her into the hood of the car.
Credit: Sheila Paras/Getty Images
Yellow police tape.

AUSTIN — One officer has been fired after he and a second officer allegedly slammed a woman against their patrol car in 2017, according to a memo from the Austin Police Department. A second officer has been indicted in the incident.

On March 15, KVUE reported that Officer Nathaniel Stallings turned himself in regarding the incident that happened on Oct. 6, 2017. He was charged with assault causing bodily injury and abuse of official capacity.

In a memo obtained by KVUE March 30, APD detailed the incident and revealed that Officer Robert Mathis has been fired. Per standard protocol, Officer Mathis can appeal the indefinite suspension. Mathis has not been indicted in the incident.

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In the memo, officials said the two officers were patrolling in North Austin when they said they saw a driver talking to a woman in what looked like a prostitution deal.

The officers said the driver and the woman stopped talking once they noticed the police. The officers then conducted a traffic stop on the driver, who they discovered was allegedly driving with a suspended license due to a prior driving while intoxicated charge. Knowing he had a suspended license, the officers let him go without taking any enforcement action, the memo said.

After the man drove off, the officers found the woman nearby and approached her in their patrol vehicle, officials said. Officer Stallings said, "Hello. Come here," according to the memo. Officer Mathis walked up to her and said, "You. Come over here," to which she replied, "Why?"

The memo said both officers then grabbed her and walked her toward the front of their patrol car as Officer Mathis said, "We're not going this route." The memo reports that the woman said, "I haven't even done anything," and Officer Stallings said, "It's called Manifestation of Prostitution."

The woman began to resist the officers. The memo said that during the struggle, Officer Mathis said, "You're about to get your (expletive) slammed." At some point, Mathis said to her, "Don't make me slam you," before Officer Stallings pushed her onto the hood of the car, causing her face to "forcefully" hit the hood, APD said. The memo said, "she cried out, 'Ow! Oh my God! Oh my God! What are y'all slamming me for?'"

Officer Mathis then "delivered the first of six knee strikes to the left side of her body," the memo said. He allegedly struck her several more times before they were able to get her into handcuffs.

She struggled as they tried to get her into the police car, and Officer Stallings allegedly forced her inside, causing her face to hit against the back seat.

The memo said the woman suffered from a minor laceration on her lip.

The memo gave a number of reasons for Officer Mathis' firing. The memo said the officers did not ask any questions before grabbing the woman. In the police report created by the officers, the memo said they omitted several details from the incident. Officer Mathis also gave inaccurate statements in the report, according to the memo.

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