Take the example of Austin PD rookie Ofc. Christopher Van Buren, suspended for his failure to determine the "objective reasonableness," or lack thereof, of force he used against a homeless man sitting on the ground. Van Buren tazed the guy within just a few seconds of getting out of his car and confronting him, because the fellow, who was reclining under a tree, didn't follow orders quickly enough.
The Statesman ran short items when the officer received a 90 day suspension and when a grand jury declined to indict him for anything, and the Chronicle covered his suspension, but neither chose to publish the video. See APD's suspension memorandum, which contains more detail than the news accounts.
The missus asked for and received video of the incident under the Public Information Act and it tells quite a story. Meanwhile, thanks to the generosity of Grits' contributors, I recently acquired some video editing software and have begun teaching myself the basics. So here's another example of what police misconduct looks like in Austin -- harsh enough to warrant a 3-month suspension without pay, but still not, apparently, rising to level of "official oppression." Watch for yourself and judge:
What does qualify as "official oppression" if that does not? If criminal laws don't forbid such an obvious abuse of power, what's the point of having official oppression charges on the books?
Regardless, video is crucial. If this fellow showed up in court without it and alleged this sequence of events had occurred, in the face of two police officers saying otherwise, he might well have been handed additional charges for filing false reports, etc.. But seeing is believing. And it's hard to justify what you see on that video.