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Austin police officer suspended for using excessive force during DWI stop

Tim Powers

Law Office of Tim Powers


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New Year's Eve 2012 was not a good one for the Austin Police Department.

KXAN has brought another controversial DWI arrest that same night to light that has led to the suspension of Austin police officer Sean McWhorter for use of excessive force.

McWhorter's patrol car video camera recorded him being head butted and spit on by a DWI suspect. McWhorter reacted angrily by slamming the handcuffed man's head on hood.

Who is the bad guy here? According to the DA, it's the police officer. They dropped all charges against the suspect even though he clearly attacked the officer.

Prosecutors determined that McWhorter crossed the line by slamming the suspect's head down on the hood of his patrol car after the suspect spit directly in his face. A rookie trainee standing next McWhorter was assisting in making the arrest.

McWhorter was clearly angry as he wrapped his hands around the drunk's neck and it was those actions that cost the officer five days of pay. McWhorter's superiors also said that he got too close to the suspect.

The video shows that the suspect was clearly combative and uncooperative all along. After arguing with the officers during a field sobriety test, he tells the officers "take me to jail."

"It was a spit and the officer reacted because of that, an inappropriate reaction. We may understand, but we can never accept that type of behavior," APD Commander Michael Nyert told KXAN.

McWhorter has served his suspension is back on the job. However, he is no longer allowed to train rookies.

If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County DWI case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899.

*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney.