AUSTIN, texas -- Austin police officer Cameron Caldwell has been suspended for 45 days after video of him pepper spraying a man in custody went viral.
The incident happened back in March during SXSW. Video of the incident was posted online by the Peaceful Streets Project.
After a disciplinary hearing Tuesday, Chief Art Acevedo said Officer Caldwell could have taken other avenues in subduing the subject.
"He had plenty of officers he could have called, open the door, and then use numbers, and have more officers go in, pin the subject, pin him in a control hold, and then apply the leg restraints and tie him out," said Acevedo.
--The Peaceful Streets Project released the following statement in response to Caldwell's suspension:--
"The 45-day suspension of Cameron Caldwell highlights how little regard APD and Chief Hubert [sic] Acevedo have for the rule of law. Caldwell committed the crimes of assault and official oppression when he pepper-sprayed a non-violent, handcuffed person in the back of a police vehicle, and a chief with integrity would have already fired and arrested Caldwell. In the interest of justice, we encourage the District Attorney to punish people who assault police officers with no more than 45-days off from their jobs, plus a little counseling."
Acevedo said the decision to suspend Caldwell was based on professional judgment and not a result of public complaint.
“Policing is ugly," Acevedo said. "I mean, even when we do things perfect, when you're trying to overcome resistance, it never looks good.”
Officer Caldwell will be placed on a one year probationary period when he returns from his 45 day suspension.