“Guilty” when the Chief says… Even if the Prosecution Disagrees

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has taken charge of the Department and is dishing out punishments left and right, something that former Police Chief Stan Knee rarely did.  But in a memo that he signed which is linked on KEYE’s website which reports this story, Officer Weston Henrichs was suspended for 20 days without pay for obtaining a public intoxication at an apartment complex located on 620 even though the charge was later dismissed.

Google maps shows that the location of this incident is an apartment complex.  It is not clear where this occurred in the complex or what the circumstances of the arrest were, but I wonder if it is not one of the "over used" public intoxication arrests that is so often used against people by APD to take them to jail and minimize an incident—just a way of separating the parties.

But, what really caught my attention by this article was not the fact that a cop was arrested for public intoxication or even that it happened in Austin.  I was intrigued that the Chief wrote:

"… it does not alter the fact that [Henrichs] was intoxicated in public and was a danger to himself and others."

If there was evidence of this statement, then the case being dismissed is questionable… unless of course Henrichs went through a deferred ajudication program or something of that nature.  But, if he was not such a danger to justify the arrest, then what exactly is Acevedo saying…. it sounds to me like he subscribes to that all too common cop philosophy of: GUILTY, REGARDLESS OF THE EVIDENCE …. PROVE YOUR INNOCENCE.

Now, let’s just hope that Chief Acevedo does more to curb the "serious" allegations against his officers and does not get hung up on PI charges.  If a PI is worth 20 days without pay, what is a speeding ticket or DWI worth?