King Raises the Right Questions About Acevedo

RECEIVED Mon., May 30, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Michael King hit the nail right on the head [“Point Austin: The Monitor Comes Knocking,” News, May 27]: Why did Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo react so peevishly to Police Monitor Margo Frasier's suggestions in the Pat Faith police chase that ended with Faith’s suicide? In fact, one of the U.S. Department of Justice's last four major recommendations, issued May 27, 2011, which Acevedo says he has embraced, is for the monitor's office to do just what Margo Frasier did, but do it publicly. So, there are two issues: will the monitor become more transparent and public, as DOJ suggested; and does Acevedo really intend to accept DOJ's recommendation, as he says he is? He's certainly entitled to comment and offer his own thoughts, and one would expect that; but it's his hyperreactive, self-defensive attitude that's troublesome. Acevedo owes us a reasoned response to the monitor’s questions and suggestions, not a hunkering down. We had too much of the latter from police chiefs past; and it was not good for APD, the city, and, most importantly, victims of excessive police force.
Jim Harrington
Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
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