I just finished reading Jordan Smith's 5,000 word PR piece on the greatness that is Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo – and I feel compelled to add a few thoughts ["Trying To Fix the World
," News, may 25].
There is a widely held belief, (repeated by Ms. Smith), that Chief Acevedo always calls the families of the victims in officer-involved shootings. That is false. When Byron Carter Jr was killed in May 2011, Chief Acevedo never called his parents – even after he told certain community leaders he would do so. In fact, the only call Byron's parents received was from an APD detective telling them that their child's body was at the morgue. To this day, Chief Acevedo has never called the Carter family or explained to them why their son – who was an innocent passenger in a car – was shot four times.
Further, while APD has improved in several areas, the painful truth remains that Chief Acevedo's police department kills two to three African-Americans per year. That is a fact – and it is statistically much higher than cities with comparable populations. Obviously, Acevedo doesn't want these shootings to occur – but they continue to do so at an alarming rate. I was really surprised to see Ms. Smith gloss over this in her celebration of all things Acevedo. Until these shootings decrease, I cannot join with her in the deification of Chief Acevedo.