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June 20, 2007
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DOJ to probe Austin (TX) PD's use of force

The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas  Federal authorities will review the recent fatal shooting of an Austin man by an Austin police sergeant.

Austin city officials say the Justice Department review will be part of its probe of the Austin Police Department's use-of-force policies.

Austin homicide and internal affairs detectives will continue investigating the June Third shooting of Kevin Alexander Brown. Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald says they'll share their findings with the feds.

Police Sergeant Michael Olsen shot Brown twice in the back after a foot chase near an Austin nightclub. Olsen, who is white, had been investigating whether the 25-year-old black man had a gun.

Brown was shot two days after Austin officials announced the Justice Department had opened its investigation of Austin police policy on use of force. The inquiry stems from a 2004 complaint by the NAACP, which alleged numerous police civil rights abuses.

An Austin American-Statesman investigation found that between 1998 and 2003, police were twice as likely to use force against blacks as against whites. They were 25% likelier to use force against Hispanics than against whites.

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