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Social workers sign on to defund APD

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Social Workers United ATX has joined the call to defund the Austin Police Department. The union announced its support for an open letter to Mayor Steve Adler, City Council and City Manager Spencer Cronk that has been co-signed by 224 Austin social workers as of Tuesday. “We are no longer accepting the harm that the Austin Police Department conducts against our clients and the larger community,” SWU spokesperson Kayla Hartman said. “Despite calls to reduce this harm through incorporating police into social service agencies or inserting social workers into the carceral state, our collective experience demonstrates this would be a mistake with dire consequences. … As such, we will not be deputized to provide the illusion our police exist to serve and protect. We reject the basis that social workers need any sort of protection from our clients by law enforcement when the violence likely to occur would in fact be perpetrated by APD against those we attempt to serve.”

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