austin police department

Action against police brutality planned for Thursday Austin City Council meeting

WHAT: Demonstration and press conference against Austin Police Brutality

WHO: Victims of police brutality at the hands of APD, their families, and supporters including Grassroots Leadership, Austin Justice Coalition, Black Sovereign Nation, Counter Balance ATX, Austin Justice Coalition, and the Texas Civil Rights Project

WHEN: Regular meeting of city council, Thursday, October 19 at 9:45 a.m. Central

WHERE: Austin City Hall Council Chamber, 301 W 2nd St. Read more about Action against police brutality planned for Thursday Austin City Council meeting

We can not accept any DACA deal that includes more detention and deportation

Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, speaking at the University Leadership Initiative press conference on September 5 to respond to news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session announced the end of the DACA program.

I remain heartened by the defiant response of our community here in Austin to the ending of DACA. We’ve been standing with University Leadership Initiative, with United We Dream, and with undocumented students who have DACA and who don’t have DACA, for years. We’re outraged by the actions of bullies like Donald Trump, Ken Paxton, Jeff Sessions, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick who have tried to terrorize these communities for months now. Read more about We can not accept any DACA deal that includes more detention and deportation

Sep 15, 2017
Austin Chronicle

Activists' Hopes for Police Negotiations Hinge on Statute of Limitations

Criminal justice organizers with Grassroots Leadership are advocating for an end to the police contract negotiations, known as the meet-and-confer process, that foster a culture of impunity. "'We have met and did not confer,' said Lewis Conway of Grassroots Leadership. 'Because, at this point, that whole meet-and-confer process is useless. It's outdated. There's no fixing it. And part of that process is the Review Panel."' The Austin Chronicle article sheds light on the disparities between police rhetoric and the demands of justice advocates on this broken process.

The article also describes this video created by Grassroots staff Chris Harris showing the comments of APA President Ken Casaday on the brutal arrest of Breaion King in July 2015. "In a harshly spliced video shown during City Council's Aug. 31 meeting, Casaday is seen talking about King's arrest at a bargaining session – reminding city negotiators that two commanders looked at the case and saw 'perhaps a training issue,' but no violation of APD policy. Between his comments are clips from the dash-cam footage of King being wrestled to the ground. 'It's jarring,' said Chris Harris, the film's creator. 'But I think gets across well what we're facing with the meet-and-confer process, and why it's pointless to negotiate under current conditions.' Supporting that point, albeit unintentionally, Casaday reminded that any change to the provision would cost the city elsewhere. These are negotiations, after all." Read more about Activists' Hopes for Police Negotiations Hinge on Statute of Limitations

Sep 8, 2017
Austin Chronicle

Grassroots Advocates to Reject Police Contract

Grassroots continues to advocate for more civilian oversight and accountability of police in the negotations between Austin Police Association and the City of Austin. "[A] coalition of criminal justice activists, including those from the Austin Justice Coalition and Grassroots Leadership, continue to advocate for scrapping the entire contract, which they say has led to a situation where the two sides too rigidly adhere to what they see as the incredibly flawed original contract language." Read more about Grassroots Advocates to Reject Police Contract

Aug 17, 2017
The Austin Chronicle

Advocates: Reject Police Union Contract

City Council is holding budget hearings later this afternoon, with testimony expected on the proposed property tax rate, any fee changes, etc. Criminal justice advocates say they will be there to oppose the current Austin Police Association contract, and demand greater accountability over officer misconduct.

At a morning press conference prior to the Council meeting, Matthew Wallace, accompanied by attorneyBrian McGiverin, described his November 2015 arrest by Austin police officers, allegedly for “jaywalking” across Red River Street near Sixth. Wallace described being attacked, kneed, and punched by police that night, and recounted his arrest on a charge of “resisting arrest.” Those charges were eventually dropped by prosecutors.


Supporting Wallace were representatives of several criminal justice advocacy groups, among themCounter Balance: ATXTexas Criminal Justice CoalitionAustin Justice Coalition, and Grassroots Leadership. They declared their opposition to the existing APA union contract, saying that it does not require adequate accountability for offending officers (“Double or Nothing,” May 26). They said current contract negotiations are not making progress on those issues, and they would ask Council today to reject the contract and “reset” the entire process.

McGiverin said he considers the current contract, despite its negotiated creation of the Office of Police Monitor and the Citizens Review Panel, as effectively “toothless,” without serious enforcement authority. Should the city return to no union contract and only Civil Service provisions, McGiverin said, it would serve as an opportunity to “start over” and push for substantive officer accountability. Read more about Advocates: Reject Police Union Contract

Jan 26, 2016

Activistas piden que autoridades de Austin no colaboren con ICE

Un grupo de activistas de la organización ICE out of Austin/ICE Fuera De Austin se reunió el lunes a las afueras de la oficina del Alcalde Steve Adler para pedir un fin a la colaboración de la policía local con el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas o ICE.

“Queremos que él tenga acciones con respecto a esto el solamente tiene que decirle a la policía no vas a cooperar con inmigración”, dijo Carmen Zuvieta, quien junto a otros miembros del grupo pidieron que la oficina del alcalde haga todo en su poder para detener las deportaciones en Austin. “A mi me da miedo por todos los demás es un trauma que llevas no sólo por mí por mis hijos por los demás es dolor adentro”.
Los activistas presionaron a Adler para que desarrolle una resolución y que le ponga una fecha a su aprobación.

“Sólo basta que el haga acciones porque ya promesas ya nos cansamos, ya esperamos”, dijo Zuvieta. Read more about Activistas piden que autoridades de Austin no colaboren con ICE


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