UT students protest in favor of abolishing APD following officer-involved shootings
AUSTIN, Texas - A group of UT Austin students protested Sunday in favor of abolishing the Austin Police Department, following two officer involved shootings in 2021 and 2022. Counter protestors said these students are out of touch with reality.
In front of the Texas State Capitol, the protestors were chanting "no peace until no police" and said Austin Police officers should not have the ability to decide life or death for community members.
On November 15, Raj Moonesinghe was shot and killed by an Austin Police officer outside his South Austin home.
In January 2021, Alex Gonzales was involved in an alleged road rage incident in Southeast Austin with an off-duty police officer. He was later shot and killed by two APD officers.
- AJC and family of Alex Gonzales Jr. call for officers who shot, killed him to be fired
- Grand jury declines to indict officers who shot, killed man in Southeast Austin in 2021
- APD releases body camera video of man killed by police in South Austin
- Family of man shot, killed on own front porch by APD officer pushes for answers
"APD is trained to answer situations like this with violence directly and not care for our communities," protestor Mari said.
Mari with ATX Students for Revolution, a communist group, wants to abolish all police departments. They said there are other ways to protect the community.
"Abolition is a process; it involves taking away the police and reinvesting in the community using the money we would have spent on police and other ways we can also do that is opening up new programs to fill the roles of police once had and do them better," Mari said.
Clinton Rarey with County Citizens Defending Freedom said that will never happen.
"It’s just a bunch of children living in a detached reality thinking that they can form some utopian ideal of no police and citizens policing themselves, it’s detached from reality," Rarey said.
He said that could be dangerous. "When you allow civilians to do whatever they want without repercussions, criminals are going to thrive," Rarey said.
Mari said they plan to continue to raise awareness.