Austin City Council discussing APD's handling of demonstrations for second day

For the second day in a row, Austin City Council will be talking about the Austin Police Department's handling of days of demonstrations after two people were critically injured because of tactics used by police last weekend.

Today's special meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. It comes after a meeting last night that lasted more than eight hours.

RELATED: Austin City Council holds special meeting to discuss protests and APD's response

Council, APD Chief Brian Manley, and City Manager Spencer Cronk called the meeting to discuss protests in the city and police tactics all while listening to over 300 concerned citizens.

Many of the concerned citizens that took to the council, took part in the protest and say they were appalled by APD’s use of non-lethal force. As a result, multiple citizens are calling for the city to defund APD, restrict non-lethal weapons at peaceful protests, and fire Chief Manley.

“We now not only have to respond to the police killings, we also have to respond to how the police handled this weekend. People shouldn't be in the hospital for attending a demonstration. It's unacceptable,” said Council Member Greg Casar.

The big takeaway from yesterday's meeting was when Chief Manley said that officers will no longer use bean bag rounds in crowd control situations. That's after 20-year-old Justin Howell and 16-year-old Brad Levi Ayala were both hospitalized after being shot in the head with less-lethal rounds during last weekend's protests.

RELATED: 20-year-old in critical condition, 15-year-old seriously injured following protests in downtown Austin

One of the first citizens to speak out was Edwin Ayala. The brother to 16-year-old Levi Ayala. He said his brother was shot in the head with a bean bag gun by police causing severe brain damage.

The pain in Ayala’s voice was heard by all of the council as he begged for answers.

"We didn't know. We thought he was going to die,” said Ayala.

The pain in Ayala’s voice was heard by all of the council as he begged for answers.


“We really do just want as much transparency because we want to know the truth. I don't know what happened,” said Ayala.

Chief Manley followed up by saying bean bag guns will not be used for crowd control for future protests.

“It is still appropriate in many other circumstances and so it is still approved for use, however, not in crowds,” said the Chief.

Council Member Casar mentioned Levi Ayala was not in a crowd when he was shot with a bean bag gun.

“It's just not enough. I've seen the video of Levi and he wasn't in a crowd by himself so changing the policy for crowds would not have changed this,” said Casar.


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