FBFK’s Steve Toland in USA Today:
Officers’ Case Dismissed – George Floyd Protests

In a Dec. 4 USA Today article, Tony Plohetski reported that “prosecutors in Texas are planning a sweeping dismissal of nearly every indictment against Austin police officers for their uses of force during the May 2020 social justice protests. The development marks a striking reversal for Travis County District Attorney José Garza, who pursued the cases launched nearly two years ago. 

The dismissal of cases against 17 of 21 officers – and to seek the federal inquiry – marks a shift in approach by Garza, whose decision to go forward with charges drew backlash from police supporters and praise from law enforcement reformers and those injured by police.”

This includes two officer-clients of FBFK Attorney Steve Toland. As quoted in the article, Toland says: “The evidence is pretty overwhelming that some people were in the middle of rioting and illegal behavior.” 

According to Toland, during the weekend of the George Floyd protests in May 2020, many Austin residents were involved in exercising their First Amendment/free speech rights. However, some moved from peaceful protest to illegal rioting and created a very difficult situation for Austin police officers trying to protect the rights of peaceful protestors from those illegally rioting. As one of the few Board-Certified Criminal Law attorneys in Austin, two of the 21 police officers arrested for responding during the protests hired Toland, as their careers and freedom were on the line.

Most notably, as part of the two-year defense, Toland and FBFK colleagues analyzed more than 100 hours of drone footage to show that officers displayed the appropriate level of restraint during their interactions with protestors helping pave the way for today’s dismissals.

To read the full article, click here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/12/04/use-of-force-charges-dropped-austin-police-2020-protests/71805438007/