Austin Police officer Bryan Richter, whose arrest of an elementary teacher more than two years ago prompted community outrage, is the subject of new excessive force allegations.
According to a memorandum from the Austin Police Department, Richter and Detective Steven McCurley have been "suspended indefinitely."
Sources confirm to KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman that Richter and the second officer faced a disciplinary hearing Friday.
According to the sources, the issue stems from an arrest Richter and other officers were making about six months ago. They said the officers were part of a special team in the department's organized crime division tasked with making felony arrests.
The memo states that on July 26, 2017, Richter and McCurley effected an arrest at the Barton Creek Mall parking lot for a subject accused of narcotics-related offenses. After the arrest, the memo states McCurley and Richter immediately approached the subject's unoccupied vehicle and breached the windows on the passenger side to clear the interior of the vehicle.
According to the memo, McCurley and Richter reported the damages to the subject's vehicle to their superiors, but did not immediately and accurately report their use of force during the arrest.
On July 27, the memo states Richter reported the use of force to superiors who obtained video of the arrest. Sergeants noted details provided by Richter were not consistent with what was seen in the video. The sergeants also discovered that McCurley used force during the arrest by kicking the subject multiple times.
According to the memo, Richter reported the subject was only "guided to the ground."
McCurley was directed to supplement his original report by clearly documenting his use of force, but sergeants said that directive was not obeyed to date. This prompted the sergeants to notify their chain of command of these developments and on August 1, and an internal affairs investigation was opened.
Interim Chief Brian Manley said Sunday he could not comment on the case until it is resolved. Union officials and Richter's attorney also would not comment.
In 2015, Richter had a violent encounter with Breaion King after stopping her for speeding along Riverside Drive.
He is seen on the video pulling her from her car and throwing her to the ground when she did not immediately comply with his commands.
Richter received a reprimand, the lowest form of discipline, but police leaders could not impose additional punishment because a deadline had passed. Department leaders learned about the incident a year after it happened, and put new processes in place to make sure similar incidents are investigated within 180 days.
King has a pending lawsuit stemming from her arrest.