Support police leadership change and Council resolutions
In the wake of the police killing of Mike Ramos and the Austin Police Department’s violence towards those protesting his murder, along with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others, Austin is in desperate need of visionary leadership. Local organizations have now spent years trying to work with police leadership to implement needed reforms, and it is clear that we won’t succeed unless we can work with people who agree that reforms are necessary.
The call for new leadership is endorsed by the Survivor Justice Project (on behalf of their member sexual assault victims,) Texas Appleseed, Texas Fair Defense Project, Communities of Color United, Grassroots Leadership, Just Liberty, MEASURE, Austin Community Law Center, Indivisible, Friends of Hyde Park and more than two dozen other groups.
We need new leadership with the vision to reduce police violence and reduce the use of police for many kinds of social needs addressed better by services — mental health crisis, drug addiction, homelessness, families needing shelter from abusers, youth employment, poverty. Some of the long needed new policies and budget direction are incorporated into resolutions to be voted this Thursday. For more information about the resolutions, click here.
Call your Council Member NOW to relay your support for new police leadership and the resolutions currently being considered.
1Here are the phone numbers, District lookup.
Need to look up your City Council District? There is a simple district lookup form, but you have to scroll down a bit to find it. Get your District Number!
City Manager Cronk – 512-974-2200
Mayor Adler – 512-978-2100
D1 CM Harper-Madison – 512-978-2101
D2 CM Garza – 512-978-2102
D3 CM Renteria – 512-978-2103
D4 CM Casar – 512-978-2104
D5 CM Kitchen – 512-978-2105
D6 CM Flannigan – 512-978-2106
D7 CM Pool – 512-978-2107
D8 CM Ellis – 512-978-2108
D9 CM Tovo – 512-978-2109
D10 CM Alter – 512-978-2110
2Quick message or deliver your own thoughts.
I live in District [X] and I am appalled by the behavior of the APD at the protests over the last 2 weeks, by the many deaths of innocent people before this, the reports of racism, the lack of accountability for all the harm, & by the constant scandals.
I’m asking you to join calls for Chief Manley and other police leaders to resign, and pass rules that will compel APD and all law enforcement agencies to immediately cease enacting violence on community members and hold those that have engaged in violence accountable. I also want money taken from the bloated police budget and moved to support investments in health and alternative approaches to public safety that don’t carry the risk of violence, especially against black people. Please vote in favor of strong policing reform resolutions on June 11.
3Remember the dead.
Sign On to THIS PETITION by the Austin Justice Coalition addressing the need to start scaling back policing in favor of better ways to address social issues.
Trust in Chief Manley and the Austin police department was already tattered when police shot Mike Ramos, an unarmed man who took the first shot while standing with both hands in the air. Chief Manley deepened that divide when he sent a formal report on the shooting to the state that claimed he didn’t know if Ramos was armed (false, he had previously confirmed that Ramos was unarmed) and that the officer thought Ramos was going to use his car as a deadly weapon (false, he was clearly seen driving slowly away from the officers.) Chief Manley — who decided to call in the entire police force during protests, armed his force with beanbag rifles and tear gas, and placed them behind riot gear — will not be able to gain back that trust by offering prayer for the innocent protesters who were hospitalized by those dangerous beanbag rounds. We need to see concrete changes, leadership who actually agree that systemic change is necessary and who agree to make it happen.
Chief Manley, his Chief of Staff and Public Safety Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano have failed to fix the Austin Police Department despite piles of reports identifying the problems and strong direction from Council and the Mayor over years. Community groups engaged in the process of incremental change announced in May that they would no longer work with the existing public safety leadership because they no longer believed that the individuals in charge were committed to real progress.