Austin police officer accused of excessive force in 2015 arrest

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses an Austin police officer of using excessive force during an April 25, 2015 arrest.

The lawsuit states police were called after an argument broke out between family members. Someone in the house told police that Adrian Aguado hit his sister, which he denied.

On Oct. 20, 2015, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo suspended Copeland for 90 days after a review of the incident, described in an memo to the interim director of civil service.

The memo states Aguado, while handcuffed in the back of a police car, began to use the seat belt fastener to bang against the plastic seat. Officer Copeland came to see what was causing the noise. Copeland told Aguado he “seemed slow” and asked if he took anything for “mental retardation.” Other inappropriate comments made by Copeland were criticized by the chief.

As the officer was telling Aguado to exit the patrol car and turn around, he shocked the man with his stun gun. Copeland admitted to giving unclear directions and not warning Aguado that he was about to be shocked.

Copeland is the same officer who shot and killed Ahmede Bradley in 2012 during a traffic stop that ended in a chase and then a struggle.

A grand jury cleared him of any criminal charges, but Bradley’s family sued officer Copeland and the city. The civil lawsuit is ongoing.

Copeland was also involved in a 2011 excessive force case involving Carlos Chacon.

He was awarded $1 million by a federal jury after they determined Copeland and another officer used excessive force during his arrest.

After the city appealed, a new agreement was reached to pay Chacon $154,000. 

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