AUSTIN, Texas - JUST America says it has proposed changes to Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley that it feels should be implemented to help reform the department and Chief Manley has reportedly agreed to them.
The organization, which organizers say started here in Austin and came about through peaceful protests, says it drafted four points and it says that after a general consensus on those points, Chief Manley "believes it is time for change and is willing to open his agency to change by adopting these four amendments for his department to the current general orders."
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JUST America says that this is the first time a police department in the U.S. has banned any restraint of the neck to include devices and objects.
Co-presidents of JUST America Eric Brown and Michael Burnet, vice presidents of JUST America Ahmed Toure and Nichelle Payne were joined by Chief Manley and Chief Troy Gay for a news conference to talk about the changes.
The four proposed changes are as follows:
Changes to Article 8: Conduct in Arresting and Dealing with Law Violators
1. Law enforcement officer and staff may not utilize restraint or holds around the neck of any kind, by either person, object or device, in the course of dealing with suspects detainees, or inmates. Such action will result in immediate referRal. to the department’s disciplinary process.
Addendum to General Orders Related To The Use Of BWCs (BODY CAMS)
1. If the BWC system is found to have been intentionally deactivated during a critical incident, said officer will be subjected to indefinite suspension per the disciplinary process.
2. If an investigation reveals that the BWC system was tampered with intentionally, the officer will be referred to the appropriate district attorney for review.
Addendum to General Orders
1. The Austin Police Department will inform the Austin City Council immediately of all amendments to the General Orders and policing policies within 24 hours. Information will also be posted to the APD website within 24 hours.
The full news release from JUST America is as follows:
The American public is demanding change from every level of government in the United States. Protests have erupted across the country from rural communities to the center of America’s major cities. The focus has been shifted from marching in the streets to reaching out and making community action a thing of the future. It has become pertinent for communities and agencies to communicate about how to combat police brutality together. Here in Austin, the conversation has happened and now Chief Manley is looking to remind America his department is at the forefront of the fight for justice.
JUST America has drafted 4 points to make Austin the leader in reform for police brutality and presented them to Chief Manley. After a general consensus on the 4 points, Manley then stated he believes it is time for change and is willing to open his agency to change by adopting these four amendments for his department to the current general orders. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A POLICE DEPARTMENT IN THE US HAS BANNED ANY RESTRAINT OF THE NECK TO INCLUDE DEVICES AND OBJECTS