Divest from White Supremacy, Defund the Austin Police Department

Mayor Adler, the Austin City Council and City Manager Cronk

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As members of Austin’s predominantly white community, we are committed to dismantling white supremacy. Austin’s police accountability process has failed to protect communities of color. At the same time Police have protected and enforced white supremacist institutions, laws and policy.

Over the last 20 years, the Austin City Council has approved budgets that give a larger and larger percentage of the city’s limited resources to policing while starving affordable housing, mental and physical healthcare and other initiatives that would create a strong, resilient and equitable city.

In solidarity with demands from local and nationally-based Black, Indigenous and people of color groups, Undoing White Supremacy Austin is calling on white Austinites to support defunding the Austin Police Department.

We demand the following of Mayor Adler, City Council Members and City Manager Cronk:

  • Fire Police Chief Brian Manley
      • Unanimous Austin City Council vote of “no confidence” and vote to fire Police Chief Manley by Monday, June 8. Chief Manley’s employment must end by June 30, 2020.
      • City Council to form a community board, chosen by representatives from communities most affected by APD oppression and violence, to recommend a new Austin police chief.
  • Zero Tolerance for Police Shootings.
      • Police officers involved in any shooting should immediately be removed from patrol duty. Those who kill unarmed people in Austin must be immediately fired without pay, benefits or pensions. Police leadership must cooperate with the Office of Police Oversight and the District Attorney’s Office to bring appropriate legal charges. Police with a history of prior misconduct should not be employed by or recommended to any other police forces. Records of officer misconduct must be available for public review.
  • Divest and defund the Austin Police Department
      • Immediately scrap all military equipment designed for crowd control – sound cannon, ammo, tanks, rubber bullets. Ban the sale of these items to be used against people in other communities.
      • Cancel the Austin Police cadet academy and resolve that Austin will not hire or train new police officers.
      • Decrease the Austin Police Department budget by 20% ($80 million) in the 2021 fiscal year. Direct these funds toward public health, mental health resources, resources for people experiencing homelessness, and affordable housing.
      • Reduce the Austin Police Department budget to zero over the next five years. Establish a process led by communities of color, to create a diverse set of departments committed to equitable and liberated safety for every Austin community member.
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To: Mayor Adler, the Austin City Council and City Manager Cronk
From: [Your Name]

We demand the following of Mayor Adler, City Council Members and City Manager Cronk:

Fire Police Chief Brian Manley:
- Unanimous Austin City Council vote of “no confidence” and vote to fire Police Chief Manley by Monday, June 8. Chief Manley’s employment must end by June 30, 2020.
- City Council to form a community board, chosen by representatives from communities most affected by APD oppression and violence, to recommend a new Austin police chief.

Zero Tolerance for Police Shootings:
- Police officers involved in any shooting should immediately be removed from patrol duty. Those who kill unarmed people in Austin must be immediately fired without pay, benefits or pensions. Police leadership must cooperate with the Office of Police Oversight and the District Attorney’s Office to bring appropriate legal charges. Police with a history of prior misconduct should not be employed by or recommended to any other police forces. Records of officer misconduct must be available for public review.

Divest and defund the Austin Police Department:
- Immediately scrap all military equipment designed for crowd control – sound cannon, ammo, tanks, rubber bullets. Ban the sale of these items to be used against people in other communities.
- Cancel the Austin Police cadet academy and resolve that Austin will not hire or train new police officers.
- Decrease the Austin Police Department budget by 20% ($80 million) in the 2021 fiscal year. Direct these funds toward public health, mental health resources, resources for people experiencing homelessness, and affordable housing.
- Reduce the Austin Police Department budget to zero over the next five years. Establish a process led by communities of color, to create a diverse set of departments committed to equitable and liberated safety for every Austin community member.