A Texas assistant police chief received a warning and a chuckle after he was stopped by a fellow officer speeding at 92 mph in a 65-mph-speed zone last month.
Now, the interim chief ordered his subordinate to be issued a ticket.
But that was more than a month after the incident only after the Austin American-Statesmen obtained dash cam video showing Austin Assistant Chief Chris Mcllvain racing to a basketball game in a city-owned vehicle during off-duty hours.
Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley stated during a March 28 press conference he believes his department has a history and culture of holding officers accountable, even though a ticket was never issued until local media obtained dash cam video of the stop.
“I think that we’ve got a culture and a history now of holding officers accountable,” Manley told reporters .
“We regularly arrest officers when they commit violations as we would a citizen under similar circumstances.”
The interim chief opened an internal affairs investigation last week that has since concluded, but stated that civil law prohibits him from discussing the outcome since it didn’t result in any sort of suspension.
Assistant Chief Mcllvain will, however, have to pay a $195 fine.
Interim Chief Manley, who took over the department when Hubert “Art” Acevedo departed for the job as Houston’s police chief just weeks after promising to clean up the department, held a press conference and discussed why he ordered Mcllvain be issued a ticket.
“I met with the officer who stopped Chief Mcllvain. And in a conversation I had with him about the incident I explained to him that–although I understood how uncomfortable that that may be stopping an assistant chief in that way–I asked him whether or not he would’ve handled that the same way if it were a citizen or somebody else. Would they have received a warning?”
“The officer indicated they would not have, so I let them know that he would need to issue a ticket to Chief Mcllvain. Because, uh, again, we have to hold ourselves to the same standard as we would anybody else in this community.”
Mcllvain, who oversees the department’s professional standard’s division, was headed to Waco to watch a Baylor basketball game with his son on February 18 when Austin cop David Montalvo clocked him at 92 mph and began pursuing the speeding assistant chief, who was driving a city-owned vehicle.
After catching up with Mcllvain, the interaction lasted less than 30-seconds when Montalvo obviously recognized who he’d just pulled over.
During the pursuit, before realizing the identity of the driver, Mcllvain can be heard saying to himself, “still flying.”
When officer Montalvo approaches Mcllvain’s vehicle it’s not clear what he initially says, but the pair can be heard laughing just before Montalvo tells his superior, “yeah, I’ll probably come back.”
But Montalvo never walks back to his police cruiser.
“How fast was I going?”
“Well, the first reading was 92 and it locked in at 88.”
“That’s the only reason I chased you down.”
Mcllvain explains he was driving to see the game.
“That ought to be fun,” Montalvo says as Mcllvain apologizes and they both laugh.
“Take care buddy.”
Video shows Montalvo walk back to his patrol car with his head down.
“I expect officers of this department to comply with the law, whether it be criminal or traffic laws, just like we expect the citizens to,” Manley said during the Tuesday press conference.
Manley told reporters police have to be sure they’re using discretion in a reasonable and consistent manner regardless of a person’s characteristics or occupation.
“I also took this as an opportunity to send a message to the entire department explaining to them the incident that occurred, the actions that I’ve taken and the importance that we and the department hold ourselves accountable to the same level that we’re holding the citizens of Austin accountable and those that we work with.”
According to the Austin Police Department’s website, APD’s professional standards division’s mission is to review officer involved critical incidents and investigate complaints received on sworn and non-sworn employees of the Austin Police Department.
PINAC reached out to the Statesman about what prompted them to request and obtain video of the stop, but has not yet received a reply.
Austin police still hasn’t released the department’s video of an incident involving Zachary Anam, a shoplifting suspect who allegedly shot himself while his hands were cuffed behind his back in the rear seat of an officer’s patrol car.