AUSTIN (KXAN) — A jury acquitted a former Austin Police officer of charges related to use of force on a woman during an October 2017 encounter.
Nathaniel Stallings, 44, was found not guilty of abuse of official capacity and official oppression Monday at 11:10 p.m., the court said.
According to a past disciplinary memo, the incident took place on Oct. 6, 2017, when Stallings and another officer responded to a suspected prostitution deal.
The officers tried talking to a woman, who did not comply with their commands to “come over here.” The officers grabbed her, and she resisted while they were walking her to the patrol car.
As they got to the patrol car, Stallings “pushed her onto the hood of the patrol vehicle,” the memo said. The other officer delivered six knee strikes to her body, it continued.
The indictment said Stallings did not provide the woman an “opportunity to explain the circumstances” on why she might have violated a municipal ordinance.
In March 2018, Stallings was indicted, suspended without pay and resigned after the police chief determined he used excessive force. He had worked with the department for six years. Jury selection in the trial began Oct. 10, and testimony the day after.
“We are grateful for our community members who served in the grand jury and trial for this case,” Travis County District Attorney José Garza said. “We respect the juror’s decision and thank them for their service.”
KXAN reached out to Stallings’s attorney, who provided the following response:
We are extremely thankful the jury took the time to look at all of the evidence in this case and render a verdict that we have exclaimed to the District Attorney’s office for five years. Officer Stallings has been steadfast in his belief that he did as he was trained by the Austin Police Department to overcome the resistance of a potentially violent suspect. Officer Stallings had to wait five years with five different prosecutors and ten different indictments before he saw his day in court. On October 17, 2022, Officer Stallings finally received the justice he deserved. We hope this sends a message to the District Attorney’s office that these frivolous prosecutions of police officers will not go unchecked by the citizens of Travis County. I urge the public to reserve judgement in these cases until the actual evidence is brought forward. As the jury saw in this case, pictures and videos do not tell the whole story. Officer Stallings and his family look forward to moving on with their lives without this hanging over their heads.Brad Heilman, Heilman Law, PLLC