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Police

APD making headway toward academy reforms, but still a work in progress

The Austin Police Department is well on its way toward implementing recommended changes to its training academy, according to a presentation Monday from consulting firm Kroll Associates. APD has enacted nearly all of the short-term recommendations and just under half…

Austin OKs $850,000 settlement for volunteer medic shot with 'less-lethal' ammunition during protest

The city of Austin approved a $850,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit over the Austin Police Department’s use of so-called less lethal ammunition during the 2020 racial justice protests. Maredith Drake, a street medic during protests outside police headquarters, was…

City, police union negotiate new labor contract after eventful five years

The city of Austin and the Austin Police Association met for their sixth day of negotiations Monday as they work toward a new labor contract. The city’s bargaining team proposed changes to the contract’s drug-testing and promotion provisions, citing recommendations from…

Austin faces another round of lawsuits related to police use of 'less lethal' rounds

Three more demonstrators are suing the Austin Police Department for injuries sustained from so-called less-lethal ammunition fired by police over a weekend of racial justice protests in 2020. More than a dozen protesters have sued the department for use of the ammunition, which include…

Chacon pledges more diverse police force

Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon told members of the Public Safety Commission Monday that his department has signed the 30 by 30 pledge, a national initiative that agrees to diversify the police force by 2030. APD is one of 40…

Another demonstrator is suing Austin and an APD officer after being shot with a beanbag round

Austin is being sued in civil court by another demonstrator who was struck by so-called “less-lethal” rounds during protests over police violence and racial justice in 2020. On Tuesday, Bomani Barton filed a civil suit against the city and the…

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Austin OKs $2.95 million settlement for Brad Levi Ayala, teen injured by police at 2020 protests

Austin City Council agreed to pay Brad Levi Ayala $2.95 million for injuries suffered after being shot by an APD officer on May 30, 2020. Ayala, who was 16 at the time, suffered brain trauma as a result of the…

Here's what we know about APD officers facing charges for using beanbag rounds in 2020 protests

Nineteen Austin police officers face criminal charges for the use of so-called “less lethal” ammunition on demonstrators during racial justice protests in 2020. Police use of the lead-pellet bags, which were fired from shotguns, severely injured protesters, at least 19…

DA says grand jury indicting 'multiple' Austin police officers for injuries during 2020 protests

A Travis County grand jury is expected to indict “multiple” Austin police officers accused of injuring people during the 2020 protests following the killing of George Floyd. In announcing the indictments, Travis County District Attorney José Garza said “multiple indictments…

Police academy shows progress in adopting reforms

With a new cadet class set to begin in late March, the Austin Police Department and consultants are fine-tuning a curriculum that more closely aligns with the city’s reimagined public safety process. APD Chief Joseph Chacon updated City Council in…

As Austin reimagines public safety, new police findings emerge

Arrests made by Austin police declined 51 percent from 2017 to 2020, yet use-of-force incidents increased 58 percent, according to an independent review of the Austin Police Department. A city-retained consulting firm, Kroll Associates, spent 48 months reviewing Austin’s police…

Austin voters to decide on decriminalizing small amounts of weed and banning no-knock warrants in May

Austin voters will be asked in May if they want to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and do away with no-knock warrants. The former practice is already police policy. In July 2020, the Austin Police Department said it would no longer…

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