Austin Justice Coalition calls on city to defund Austin Police Department

The Austin Justice Coalition is calling on the city to defund the Austin Police Department. 

Since last week, protests have begun around the nation over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd. The city of Austin has seen mostly peaceful protests, with protesters seeking justice for both Floyd and Mike Ramos, an Austin man who died in police shooting earlier this year. 

RELATED: Officer-involved shooting of Mike Ramos to be presented to special grand jury, says Travis County DA

Now, AJC is calling on the Austin City Council to make changes to the department during the next city council meeting on Thursday.  

AJC is calling on the city to fire Police Chief Brain Manley as well as the officers involved in the Ramos police shooting. AJC also called for the city to divest APD and instead invest money in "health, housing & direct pandemic assistance by reallocating at least $70 million for the RISE fund to cover basic needs of Austin families most impacted by the pandemic." 


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RELATED: City Council calls for emergency hearings into police tactics after clashes with protestors

"We are calling on the Austin City Council to become these courageous leaders by pledging to defund the Austin Police Department and invest in the resources that really keep us safe and healthy, especially in Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color," AJC stated. 

AJC has called on the community of Austin to ask city council to cut the following programs that "overtly perpetuate racial profiling and a culture of violence." 

  • Funding for new officers and the new cadet class
  • Weapons used against protesters
  • Fusion Center
  • Surveillance
  • Driver License readers
  • AISD police force

RELATED: GoFundMe campaign set up for Austin area black-owned businesses affected by COVID-19, recent protests

"Our city is on edge, our people are hurting, and Black communities are crying out for health and safety in the midst of a pandemic. Now is the time to invest in a safe, liberated future for our city. We can't afford to keep funding APD's attacks on Black lives," AJC stated.