AUSTIN, Texas - Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has released a statement regarding the recent protests in Austin over the deaths of Minnesota man George Floyd and Austin man Mike Ramos.
The statement comes the same day as all four now-fired Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death were charged.
It was also announced on Tuesday that the officer-involved shooting death of Ramos will be presented to a special grand jury, according to Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.
Below is City Manager Cronks' statement regarding the recent protests:
“Over the past weeks and months, our city, and more broadly, our nation, has again been forced to confront a tragic loss of human life. Our community has expressed a range of emotions. Many are justifiably outraged, sad, anxious, and – for some – even fearful for themselves and their families.
While we are all rightly disturbed by much of what we’ve seen, I’ve also witnessed the strength and courage on the part of our city to face these issues head on and continue having the difficult conversations necessary to confront our deeply troubling history of inequity, injustice, and systemic racism. I personally have struggled with the complexity of this moment and realized that our feelings can’t and shouldn’t be limited to one or two choices. I believe that we can condemn the disgusting abuse of power, authority, and trust by some officers while at the same time respect and appreciate those who choose policing as a calling and treat others with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
I also acknowledge that for far too many in our community, lived experience has left them feeling hopeless, afraid, and convinced that nothing will ever change. To those people, I say, please don’t lose hope. I see you, I hear you, and I need – and want – your help and leadership. I want everyone in Austin to know that I am committed to continuing the hard work, having the difficult conversations, and finding a way forward that rebuilds that loss of trust while improving our police force to ensure it is reflective of the community values Austin holds dear. I am committed. My executive staff is committed. Our Chief of Police is committed. And I believe that our community is committed.
It is my heartfelt desire that one day, we are able to look back on these times as the catalyst that brought about the changes we know are so badly needed, but that can only happen if we come together as a city and work as partners to create the community we know we’re capable of being.”