Austin, TX — An Austin police officer is in trouble for the second time in under a year after an unidentified member of the public requested dash cam footage of an incident involving the officer.
In the eight-minute-long video, you can see officer Mark Lytle harassing a homeless woman in a wheelchair because he “doesn’t like what he’s seeing.” He mentions something about a warrant in the video, but it is unclear what the warrant is for, or if one even exists.
Lytle: “I don’t give a s***…I want you to get this stuff out of here.”
Woman: “Please sir.”
Lytle: “I do not want to see you over here.”
Woman: “I’m sorry.”
Lytle: “If I see you over here, I will take you to jail for the warrant.”
Woman: “Please sir, I am trying to be honest with you.”
Man: “And I am being honest with you. I’m being brutally honest with you. I do not like what I’m seeing underneath these overpasses.”
The incident took place in December 2014 when the officer claims he was enforcing a “no-camping ordinance.” This is interesting considering that in 2000, Judge Jim Coronado ruled that “the portion of the ordinance that turned the poorest of our citizens into “criminal sleepers’ was unconstitutional,” after citizens in Austin petitioned the court. The judge wrote:
“The Petitioners have shown on behalf of their ‘CLASS OF HOMELESS’ that the portion which relates to sleeping in public, or making preparations to sleep, including the laying down of bedding in a public place is a violation of due process.”
Upon seeing the video, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “Officer Lytle’s demeanor and language were rude and unprofessional.” Lytle is currently on a ten-day unpaid suspension.
This comes less than a year after Lytle was in hot water for some horrific comments he made when he forgot he was being recorded. As we reported in November 2014, when speaking with a fellow officer, Lytle joked about responding to a rape victim:
Officer 1: Alright, we’re gonna be riding out for a week.
Officer 2: Yo, we used to. They used to do that.
Officer 2: Hey, put it this way; if we ride out for a week, crime is gonna be on the run and (expletive) non-existent. (Expletive) would get real for the bad guys. The world would be at peace for a week.
Officer 1: Either that, or, you’d think that because we’d turn a blind eye towards everything.
Officer 2: Or that.
Officer 1: (Expletive) who cares.
Officer 2: Or that. It could be that.
Officer 1: I want to report a robbery! You probably deserved it.
Officer 1: Look at that girl over there.
Officer 2: (blows whistle) Go ahead and call the cops. They can’t unrape you. (laughter)
Officer 1: You didn’t turn your camera off, did you?
Officer 2: They can’t unrape you.
Mark Lytle obviously has no respect for other human beings or their well-being. Who wants someone like that patrolling their streets? He has embarrassed the department twice in less than a year. If this officer is just a “bad apple,” why doesn’t the department just throw it out?