When Mike Ramos was killed by Officer Taylor on April 26, 2020, friends of color said that we can wait no longer for fundamental change within the Austin Police Department. This murder, mishandled investigations, documented racial profiling, APD’s constant undermining of Office of Police Oversight powers, and the militaristic “warrior” training in the Police academy are only the most recent examples of APD’s violent and deadly racist culture. Despite years of community work and council resolutions, nothing has changed.
It is clear that this change has not happened and will not happen under his leadership. Communities of color in Austin deserve to be safe from racism in the only people in Austin with the right to fire deadly weapons at human bodies.
- Revoked the policy forbidding officers from shooting at fleeing vehicles unless trained or person fleeing had inflicted serious injury or death. Fully authorized shooting by any officer at any time.
- Exonerated Christopher Taylor of the Michael Ramos shooting
- Insisted on moving forward with June cadet academy with no changes to use-of-force or implicit bias training
- Failed to investigate complaints against Assistant Chief Newsom of ten years of blantant racist language and allowed him to resign with all benefits, including about $137,000 of unused sick time instead of being held accountable
- Revised the APD complaint process to minimize transgressions and reduce transparency.
- Downgraded bodycam violations, hiding them from public scrutiny.
- Failed to consult or give notice on policy changes regarding public complaints and bodycams
- Circumvented and disrupted APD accountability to the Office of Police Oversight
- Stifled the racial profiling report showing the disproportionate traffic stops and arrests of Black bodies