AUSTIN – Officer Jordan Wagstaff has been suspended for violating police rules and regulations by creating an external personal relationship with a victim of a frim while the case was currently under investigation.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has suspended Officer Wagstaff for these multiple APD policies and Code of Conduct violations indefinitely, according to a memo from Chief Manley, the relationship raises concerns and could jeopardize the staking case against the suspect.
Wagstaff responded to the stalking call at a gym in December 2018. After gathering information and completing the report and identifying the suspect from social media accounts, Officer Wagstaff waived the victim over to his squad car, the memo states.
Wagstaff offered to take the victim to a shooting range, so “you can defend yourself,” he told APD Internal Affairs. The officer also told Internal Affairs they exchanged Facebook information and began messaging on social media.
Over several days, Wagstaff and the victim met socially and established a personal connection while the stalking case was still actively investigated. According to the memo, Wagstaff and the victim met at a shooting range four days after the report was compiled. They also attended a wedding of another APD officer together in January 2019.
Another officer informed Wagstaff that the relationship was against department policy. Wagstaff stated to Internal Affairs he did not know it was a violation and thought it was just “discouraged.” After the discussion with the other officer, Wagstaff continued the relationship with the victim according to the memo.
The memo also states Wagstaff accessed records concerning the case an approximated 28 times and did not have any involvement with the case besides taking the victim’s preliminary report in the beginning.
Several times while on-duty, Wagstaff patrolled the area of the gym where the case was reported, which was outside of his designated patrol area. The day after the stalking report was filed, Wagstaff met with the victim’s father, providing information about the case, including a mugshot of the suspect, which is another violation of APD policy according to the memo.
Text messages between Wagstaff and the victim show offensive comments about the suspect, including the hope that he would kill himself, according to the memo. Text messages between Wagstaff and the victim’s mother, Wagstaff texted: he’s lucky patrol officers with cameras were there when I found him, according to the report.
Manley Memo: “His actions also demonstrate his failure to display an impartial attitude by allowing his personal feelings for the victim to influence his actions.”
At a dismissal hearing performed on Monday, June 17th, Wagstaff acknowledged violating rules and regulations of the APD, including as follows:
- Privacy and security of records
- Responsibility to know and comply
- Acts bringing discredit upon the department
- Prohibited associations
Wagstaff has the opportunity to appeal the indefinite suspension decision within 10 days of receiving the memo.
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