Updated 10/25/2012 10:20 AM
Civil rights attorney criticizes APD over weekend shooting
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Some critics of the Austin Police Department are questioning the actions of the officer who fired several times at a driver on East Sixth Street last weekend.
According to police, Officer Robert Krummel fired multiple shots around 2:30 Saturday morning at a car he felt threatened his safety and the safety of others.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the female driver of the car was under attack at the time and was in fear for her life when she accelerated her car to escape. Police also announced they would not be filing charges against the driver.
On Wednesday, attorney Jim Harrington with the Texas Civil Rights Project said this was a bad shooting and the Austin Police Department knows it.
"By backpedaling the way they are, I think they really are acknowledging this was an awful, awful mistake of judgment," Harrington said. "They need to be able to assess these situations that happen. This is not an uncommon event with drunk people."
While defending the officer's actions based on what's now known, Chief Art Acevedo says investigators are just beginning to look at what happened.
He says the department's lack of action against the driver has no bearing on the investigation into Officer Krummel's actions.
Harrington says the officer's decision to fire goes against APD's new use of force policy by putting innocent lives in danger. He points out the recent firing of Officer Christopher Allen for firing his weapon without merit and endangering others.
"This will be no different,” Chief Acevedo said. “We will be taking a hard look at it, asking the tough questions. Quite frankly, for anybody to be saying we are not one of the toughest administrations in the nation, they are not looking at the facts."
Police say they have interviewed at least 19 witnesses to this point.
Acevedo says an internal investigation is expected to take months and will eventually go before a grand jury.