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Austin Cop Fired Over May Shooting
Updated: Friday, September 27 2013, 06:39 PM CDT
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has fired an officer who shot at a man during a traffic stop, citing excessive use of force.
Officer Justin Boehm pulled over James Barton near Airport Blvd. and 12th Street during the morning rush hour of May 8.
According to police, Barton got out of his truck and approached Boehm. Barton then reached inside his shirt and Officer Boehm fired at him. He missed. Barton has a heart condition and was taken to the hospital with chest pains.
In August the Texas Civil Rights Project sued several Austin officers over the incident seeking $12,000 in medical bill expenses.
A grand jury cleared Boehm on criminal charges. Still, Barton is glad to see justice served with the officer's indefinite suspension.
"I hope he gets into a different line of work. It would be nice if he didn't carry a gun," Barton said.
He is still pondering why he was shot at in the first place.
"No one would imagine. It's just extremely bizarre. It's unimaginable," Barton said.
Acevedo stated the actions of the officer were unreasonable. He also pointed out Boehm's reaction after the shooting was also out of line.
"It's clearly a wallet. He now knows it's not a firearm. His conduct subsequent to seeing that was not consistent to what we expect of the Austin Police Department," Acevedo said.
He explained Boehm can appeal their decision, but the chance of getting his job back, Acevedo says, is slim.
Boehm has been with APD for five years. He had no comment due to the pending litigation.
(Video from the Travis County District Attorney's Office.)