In a briefing last week, APD Assistant Chief David Carter said a "struggle ensued" when Olsen attempted to question Brown and that Brown fled, scaled a fence, and took off running through a neighboring apartment complex. (The very brief struggle, during which Brown slapped Olsen's hand away from his shirt and ran, was recorded on an amateur video broadcast repeatedly on TV news and posted online.) The officers followed – Olsen ran around the fence, trying to head Brown off, said attorney Tom Stribling, a union lawyer who represented Olsen in the first hours after the shooting.
repeatedly yelled for Brown to "show his hands," Stribling
In other words, says Follmer's attorney Tom Stribling, it appears that being a probationary public safety employee in Austin - either a rookie cop or firefighter - means being an employee of no-man's land, working toward the promise of civil service protection, but without any interim employment protection.
"The point is that [the city] just [doesn't] want to give rookie police officers and firefighters who've worked for the city at least six months, but are still on probation, any route for an appeal," Stribling
says Follmer's termination seems to hinge on what Ellison sees as "inconsistencies" in the statements Follmer gave to Internal Affairs detectives and to investigators in the department's Integrity Crimes Unit, which reviews allegations of criminal misconduct by police and other public officials.
says that during Follmer
's disciplinary review-board hearing, Ellison focused on a single answer Follmer gave to IA detectives as evidence that Follmer offered inconsistent explanations as to why he
According to Stribling
told both IA and ICU
officers that he
hit Hernandez because he
continued to struggle with the officers.
Late in the questioning, however, Follmer
told IA - in response to a direct question - that he
might not have struck Hernandez if Gray, who was Follmer's
field training officer and thus responsible for evaluating Follmer
's performance during part of his
probationary period, hadn't first struck the handcuffed man. Stribling says it was that answer that Ellison used as the basis to complain that Follmer was inconsistent.
That makes little - if any - sense to Stribling
Stribling filed an official notice of Follmer's appeal with Human Resources' Rodgers on June 7, seeking review by a hearing examiner who would be tasked with reviewing the case and then recommending to City Manager Toby Futrell whether Follmer's termination should be upheld or whether a lesser punishment would be warranted; Futrell would have the final say.
At press time, Stribling
was reviewing city policy and exploring the possibility of other avenues for appeal.
"He's extremely happy," said Little's attorney Tom Stribling.
Little's attorney, Tom Stribling, general counsel for the Austin Police Association, presented to civil service arbitrator Herman Bennett evidence of at least a dozen similar cases in which Knee had responded more leniently (from three to 60 days off), and not a single offending officer had been terminated.
questioned the APD's
apparently arbitrary distinction between what the brass considers a "mistake" versus a "lie."
But as attorney Stribling pointed out during the hearing, that hasn't been the price for other officers who've committed similar infractions.
offered evidence of more than a dozen similar cases, none resulting in termination.
recounted a case in which an officer had pulled over a drunken off-duty officer and drove the officer home, where he
found evidence of a domestic dispute.
Asked by Stribling
to explain the time discrepancy in the documents, Knee initially sat mute.
After a long silence, he
claimed that there was, indeed, a valid reason for his
asked how the DA's decision could have "affected this case if you'd imposed discipline before the grand jury" acted?
Asked about the apparent conflict, Stribling
said that pending the arbitrator's decision in the matter,"it may be necessary to resolve these conflicting statements through the judicial system."