[Hpn] Fwd: [ACLU] Action Alert : Austin Police Reform Gutted
Thu, 15 Feb 2001 18:15:17 -0800 (PST)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
In case you wonder about our homeless situation its
ramped because of the city manager and city council
the security force is bad. We have known it for years.
Note: forwarded message attached.
Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
X-Apparently-To: firstname.lastname@example.org via web127
X-Track: 2: 40
Received: from sm8.texas.rr.com (126.96.36.199)
by mta533.mail.yahoo.com with SMTP; 12 Feb 2001 21:10:21 -0800 (PST)
Received: from localhost (cs2889-48.austin.rr.com [188.8.131.52])
by sm8.texas.rr.com (8.11.0/8.11.1) with ESMTP id f1D58RM20515
for <email@example.com>; Mon, 12 Feb 2001 23:08:27 -0600
From: David Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: John Macpherson <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 23:13:20 -0600
Subject: [ACLU] Action Alert : Austin Police Reform Gutted
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
ACLU OF TEXAS ACTION ALERT
POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT
Do not distribute after April 1, 2001 or until updated
AUSTIN POLICE OVERSIGHT FOCUS GROUP GUTTED IN SECRET MEETINGS
The Austin Police Association and Austin City Manager Jesus Garza have conspired
to gut a civilian oversight agreement painstakingly developed in public by a
city task force, the Police Oversight Focus Group. Instead, they used secret
negotiations to thwart the Austin City Council's stated will and to neuter every
significant point of real accountability in the proposed system. All records
and processes remain secret. The system proposed in the agreement would be no
more accountable than the current one -- that is to say, not accountable at all.
SO WHAT DOES APD HAVE TO HIDE?
If you watch the news you know the Austin Police Department has serious problems.
APD made national headlines after detectives coerced a false rape confession
and the victim was proven innocent by DNA testing. A federal task force pursued
allegations that Austin cops provided security for drug dealers until APD quashed
the investigation by pulling its men off the case. And Samuel Ramirez, an Austin
cop who allegedly forced a woman to perform oral sex on him while he was on duty,
was only charged with a misdemeanor and could still return to the force.
Citizens demanded accountability for APD's increasingly notorious record, and
the Austin City Council responded by creating Austin's Police Oversight Focus
Group (POFG), made up of citizens and representatives of the Austin Police Association,
the officers' union. The idea was that restrictive state civil service laws could
be overridden to create real accountability if the union would agree to reforms
through their labor contract process. The most important reforms, negotiated
over many months, gave limited access (for complainants and the oversight board)
to information about investigations of complaints against officers. In return,
police officers would get a large pay raise.
The police association abandoned the public agreement and gutted the POFG deal
in closed door labor negotiations with City Manager Jesus Garza. Under the new
deal, all information has been restricted from complainants, the proposed oversight
board and the public. The proposed system is just as closed and just as accountable
as the current system -- that is to say, it is completely closed and not accountable
to anyone at all. The pay raise, you may imagine, was left intact.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
The ACLU and the Sunshine Project oppose the Meet and Confer Agreement without
the full POFG recommendations, and urge Austin residents to call city council
today to say you do too. Tell them no pay raise without real oversight. Do it
Mayor Kirk Watson
The city council still has to vote before the city manager's and the police union's
flagrant betrayal of the public interest becomes codified into local law and
practice. Please help in every way you can, with our campaign to stop this injustice.
For more information, including how your organization can join:
ACLU of Texas Police Accountability Project
AOL users <"http://www.aclutx.org/projects/police/>
This email is being sent as an official announcement from the ACLU Central Texas
chapter. We are experimenting with a new system to send you updates as a possible
replacement for the Yahoo Groups list, which you have been a member of since
For more information about this ACLU of Texas Central Texas Chapter see
To unsubscribe from this action alert list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the phrase "UNSUBSCRIBE AUSTIN" in the subject field.
You are subscribed to this list as email@example.com
If you have problems unsubscribing from the mailing list, then contact the ACLU
of Texas webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.