Council talks temporary fire stations, approves $425k Breaion King settlement
The Austin City Council has agreed on a settlement in the Breaion King versus the City of Austin lawsuit. The suit alleges Austin Police officer Brian Richter used excessive force during a 2015 arrest.
Council agreed on a $425,000 settlement. Speaking about the incident, Mayor Adler says this was not our City at its best.
In June 2015, 26-year-old elementary school teacher Breaion King was pulled over for speeding. In the now infamous dash cam video, Officer Richter is seen pulling King out of her car and throwing her on the ground. The case received national attention. King sued the city. Today City of Austin legal recommended Council approve $425,000 to settle the lawsuit. It was unanimous on the dais with Troxclair absent.
Council member Pio Renteria had strong words for APD.
“I’m just pleading with all of y’all officers it really is just costing us a lot, not only money but through the respect that y’all should have. Y’all are really making it very difficult for us to support y’all. So please, I just want to ask y’all...let’s all work together and treat everybody with respect,” Renteria said.
City legal also said Interim Chief Manley has offered to sit down with Braeion King to discuss what happened. The city is working to set up that meeting.
Aside from the settlement there were some other important items on the agenda today including temporary fire stations.
If passed, Council Member Delia Garza’s agenda item 35 would construct two temporary fire stations where the city needs them the most...Travis Country and Del Valle.
“We looked at different options, we have funding available, we have surplus money we could use, we have old bond money that hasn’t been used,” Garza said.
Both Garza and Bob Nicks with the Austin Firefighters Association feel like the permanent stations the city wants to build would take too long and are way too expensive...somewhere between $11 and 21 million while they say other cities are building for millions of fewer dollars. The temporary stations are only $1 to 2 million.
“It’s very important we pass temporary stations that gives us time to work on these other issues like how can we build fire stations cheaper? How can we build them better and faster? But let’s not let the citizens in these two areas suffer while we’re trying to figure that out,” Nicks said.
Nicks says they’re looking at creative solutions for the temporary stations...like unused toll booths.
“If we do the toll booth it’s a big enough structure where we could have our sleeping quarters, our living quarters. We’d probably have to add shower facilities but that’s much cheaper than some of the other alternatives,” Nicks said.
“The extra staff would have to be included in next year’s budget but again you know how long are we going to kick this can down the road? It’s a need that we have, it’s not going to change, in fact it’s going to get worse. If we wait any longer to build stations it’s going to get more expensive,” Garza said.
The fire station discussion is expected to start no sooner than 6:30 Thursday evening.