Austin Police Continues to Investigate In-Custody Death, 911 Audio and Video Released
The Austin Police Department (APD) continues to investigate the in-custody death that occurred on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
APD understands the importance of building trust within our community and will continue working diligently to develop a strong and trusting relationship. As per our policy, we share information about a critical incident within ten business days of its occurrence. APD is working with the Office of Police Oversight and the City of Austin to release this information today. The press release includes links to the relevant audio and video from the ongoing investigation. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the audio and video materials identified for public release. The details provided today are preliminary, as we are very early in the investigation.
The Officer who deployed his Department-approved taser is Officer Thomas Bores. The Officer who arrived with Officer Bores and assisted during the incident is Officer William Simonton. The third officer who arrived on the scene and also rendered aid was Officer Ethan Turk.
Officer Bores has two years and eleven months of service, Officer Simonton has one year and eight months of service, and Officer Turk has five years of service with the Department.
APD will conduct two concurrent investigations into this incident: a criminal investigation conducted by the APD Special Investigations Unit in conjunction with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and an administrative investigation conducted by the APD Internal Affairs Unit, with oversight from the Office of Police Oversight.
Transparency and accountability are key elements needed to serve and build relationships within our Austin community. Below is the chain of events related to this critical incident that will help you understand what took place.
At approximately 3:07 a.m., APD officers responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting a pedestrian in the 12000 block of Research Boulevard SVRD NB. The 9-1-1 callers reported that a man wearing blue jean shorts and no shirt was in the high-speed roadway’s travel lanes. The callers also reported that the man had obvious injuries to his body and was bleeding.
APD officers arrived on the scene at approximately 3:11 a.m., and located the man described in the call, who was later identified as Reice Samuel Brown. Officers attempted to make verbal contact with Mr. Brown and deescalate the situation. Mr. Brown was not responsive to the officers’ requests. He began walking away and seriously injuring himself with a metal object in front of the officers. In order to prevent further injury, Officer Bores deployed his Department-approved taser. The taser was effective, and Mr. Brown fell to the ground. The metal object was located on the ground next to Mr. Brown.
Once the scene was made safe by removing the metal object, Officer Bores requested Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (A/TCEMS). The officers placed Mr. Brown in handcuffs and rendered aid to Mr. Brown utilizing equipment included in their Department-approved Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). Officer Turk arrived on the scene and also assisted with first aid. Officers administered Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to Mr. Brown prior to A/TCEMS’ arrival at the scene. Mr. Brown was then transported to a local hospital by A/TCEMS. No other civilians or officers sustained physical injuries.
At approximately 4:05 a.m., Mr. Brown was pronounced deceased.
Because Mr. Brown died shortly after contact with APD officers, this incident is being investigated as an in-custody death. The cause and manner of death will be determined by the medical examiner.
This incident was captured on two officers’ body-worn camera videos. Body-worn camera videos do not always capture everything the officer or witnesses saw or experienced during the incident; however, the footage helps us understand what occurred.
In compliance with state law that prohibits the release of certain information and to maintain the integrity of the investigation, the videos and 9-1-1 calls have been redacted. The Police Radio Traffic audio was not redacted, but it has been condensed by removing the absence of radio transmission.
The materials include comprehensive footage of the officers’ actions and contain graphic content and language. Viewer discretion is advised.
MATERIALS BEING RELEASED:
• Two 9-1-1 audio files
• One Police Radio Traffic audio file
• Body-worn camera – Officer Thomas Bores
• Body-worn camera – Officer William Simonton
• Patrol Car Dashcam video – Officer Thomas Bores
All of the released materials are available on the Department’s YouTube and other social media platforms. The link to the materials is below.
Please click the link here: APD’s YouTube Channel
Anyone with information is encouraged to call APD’s Special Investigation Unit at (512) 974-6840 or Capitol Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477. For the Capitol Area Crime Stoppers submission, you may submit a tip online at austincrimestoppers.org. You may remain anonymous.