Five Cadets Hospitalized on First Day of Academy; Department won't say why
Five Austin police cadets were hospitalized Monday in order to receive medical treatment after becoming incapacitated following a fitness test on the first day of police academy training.
One cadet remains in the hospital, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
However, the condition of that person, whose identity is unknown, was not released.
Four other cadets were released after being treated.
According to the Austin Police Department, all five cadets became ill and incapacitated during a physical fitness exam.
Austin police are refusing to say what happened, but did confirm five cadets were taken to the hospital.
A History of Abusing Cadets
In April this year, we reported how several former cadets at the same Austin police training academy notified the city through a formal letter about the brutal and violent nature of the training they also received in order to become police officers for the 137th Cadet Class for the Austin Police Department.
In that class of cadets, Austin Police Department instructors would threaten to "punch you in the face" if you said you wanted to become an officer to help people, according to former cadet Summer Spisak.
Academy staffers told cadets that a suspect who resists "just earned a legal ass-wooping," Spisak recalled.
Spisak, who wanted to become an officer after the Dallas police shootings in 2016, was unable to complete police academy due to an injury she suffered while practicing take-down moves after an instructor ordered another cadet to "throw her down like a man."
"I wanted to make a difference," she said.
"I wanted to be part of the changing face of policing and have officers who respect the community.”
After experiencing police culture firsthand, she now has her real estate license and is no longer interested in becoming a cop.
Former cadet Johnathan Murray said instructors repeatedly degraded homeless people and prostitutes during training, referring to them as "cockroaches."
Murray says cadets were encouraged to "find a transient" if they were bored and needed an easy felony arrest.
Throughout the academy, instructors showed videos and images of transients and prostitutes to the cadet class for the only apparent reason being to make fun of the individuals and create a cadet buy-in of the cop culture mentality.
Cadet Michael Gibbons, who served four years in the Navy, was shocked when an instructor told cadets about sitting in a police cruiser watching two women fight instead of intervening "to get a laugh out of it."
Gibbons and Murray both suffered injuries during "defensive tactics" training where neither men where given any prior defense training other than punching a static object before being forced to enter a makeshift ring where they were beaten and knocked down by their instructors several times.
After being beaten, the cadets were instructed to "get back out there" and "fight like their lives depended on it," according to the letter filed by their attorneys.
Murray was knocked out of the ring and told to "get his ass back in the ring and fight."
In his clients' letter to the City of Austin, which can be read below, attorney Derek Howard provides more examples of abuse during police academy training.
One instructor told cadets they needed to achieve a "winning warrior mentality" by choosing some person in their daily lives - preferably not a child or older woman - and visualize themselves "shooting that person in the face."
Another instructor told cadets the unofficial rule is that "If an officer ends up in the hospital, that the person arrested better end up in the hospital as well."
New Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says he stands by the seemingly sadistic training."
We are giving them the requisite knowledge they need to go out and succeed in a very difficult profession,” Manley told the Statesman.“I am very satisfied with how we are training the men and women of the Austin Police Department."
"If I wasn’t, I’d make changes.”
A recent audit was presented to the Austin City Council shows Austin has the highest rates of fatal shooting in the country when it comes to people suffering from mental health issues, according to an October 1 report by the Austin-American Statesman.