Councilman Zimmerman investigating city manager's actions

Mayor Adler has released the following statement on Chief Acevedo:

"I have been and remain a strong supporter of Chief Acevedo. Austin is one of the safest big cities in the nation, and managing public safety is the responsibility of City Manager Ott, to whom Chief Acevedo reports. Both men deserve credit for keeping our community safe. We understand that there is a chain of command, and we all respect that. Consistent with that, this is an ongoing personnel matter on which I will not give further comment at this time." 



Austin City Councilman Don Zimmerman is doing his own investigation into the city manager's actions against Police Chief Art Acevedo. He says he would like changes to be made in how to handle future deadly-force incidents.

Chief Acevedo has been docked pay for five days and his job is being threatened. 

Zimmerman says the chief shouldn't be reprimanded for being open. 

The city manager versus the chief of police - many are forming their own opinions on how the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed teen was handled.

"I think the police chief was making a reasonable attempt to provide some transparency and some public assurance that this is not going to happen next weekend or next month. He is trying to provide some clarity and some transparency to try to calm the situation," say Don Zimmerman, Austin City Council, District 6.

On March 1st Acevedo reportedly spoke about the pending case with a cadet class.

The following day, City Manager Marc Ott had a meeting with Chief Acevedo and told him to stop discussing the matter. An investigation shows that did not happen.

As a result, Acevedo was given a written reprimand. Zimmerman says the city manager boasts how Austin is the most transparent city but his actions against the chief show the opposite.

"In truth, they're very secretive if someone speaks out on a very important public safety issue. A young man lost his life and now there's a police officer on the line for a possible indictment, or losing his job, these are very serious issues. In other cities, these kinds of issues might lead to riots," says Zimmerman.

Zimmerman is starting his own investigation into the case.

He says city council could possibly implement policies regarding transparency and procedures for releasing information when there's deadly use of force.

"You've seen in some other cities, how city management can sometimes withhold crucial information for many months or a year or more. When that information finally gets released, there's a lot of resentment in the public," says Zimmerman.

On the other hand, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas is behind the city manager's decision.
"Rank-and-file police officers in Austin have been sounding the alarm for months about Chief Acevedo's habit of bad-mouthing the cops he's supposed to be leading. Finally, his supervisor stepped in with decisive action to bring the chief back into line. Surely, the city manager realizes the harm the chief's comments do when an on-duty officer involved in controversy is hung out to dry by the chief of police."

Read APD Chief Art Acevedo reprimanded, docked five days pay

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