Teachers’ union president calls for round table with district police after phone seized

 Naomi Wilson, a transgender woman and activist, attended an August school board meeting to share her thoughts on sex education curriculum. “Right when I sat down that's when, I think it was a member of Concerned Parents of Austin, who called me disgusting behind my back, and it was loud,” said Wilson.

Wilson says she flagged down the cops to help free her from harassment. 

“That's when I stood up and started chanting trans lives matter and I told them their values are killing us,” she said.

She says police became aggressive, escorting her out as she tried to leave the property on her own.

Ken Zarifis of Education Austin captured this incident on his phone. A few days later police first asked him for the video.

“I came down to these offices, AISDPD, and was greeted by not one but four police officers, a lieutenant and three detectives, clearly I take a lot of people to work with. I informed them they had video of their own that they could view and make decisions by. They did not need my phone nor did they need my video,” said Zarifis, president of Education Austin.

He said later officers came to his office with a search warrant as Ken requested. “Now they wanted my entire phone and they refused to leave otherwise. I asked ‘What changed from earlier today? You just wanted my video and I’ll give it to you. You got your search warrant I’m happy to give it to you.’ They said ‘no it changed Ken we need your whole phone,’” he said.

“I have no idea what they dug into. When the police were in my office they said maybe there are some texts on here, and you were communicating with people,” said Zarifis. Zarifis, along with a coalition of activists including the Austin NAACP, are demanding district police sit down for a roundtable discussion about what happened with Zarifis and Wilson.

“All human beings are entitled fair treatment and just treatment in this city, this state and this country,” said Nelson Linder, president of the Austin NAACP chapter.

The search warrant mentions police wanted Zarifis' phone because there possibly was an assault at the board meeting.

“There was no assault. I was actually really surprised that I was being pursued with an assault charge,” said Wilson.

What Wilson and Zarifis are hoping for is not only a discussion with the district, but action and policy change.

Austin ISD Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez released a statement to FOX 7 Austin: 

“The Austin ISD Police Department actively engages with stakeholder groups to best support our students, staff and community, as we have before. We look forward to working directly with any group or organization to schedule a round-table discussion focused on ways we can continue to serve the AISD community.”

— Austin ISD Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez