Starts at the Top

RECEIVED Fri., July 22, 2016

Dear Editor,
    In response to the article, “What to Make of It,” [News, July 15] the goal of ending police brutality in Austin while under the governance of police Chief Art Acevedo, is permeated with naivete. In 2015, Austin ranked fourth in the country for highest deaths by police; not a step in the right direction. Austinites have paid over $7 million in victim settlements since Acevedo took his position.
    With the murder of unarmed Larry Jackson Jr., and the more recent murder of unarmed David Joseph, it substantiates that APD policies under Acevedo’s direction are dangerous for Austinites. Sixth Street’s notorious bar scene encourages pedestrians to consume large amounts of alcohol. Rather than APD dealing with a drunk person the way they would a drunk friend, APD tactics focus on intimidation and aggression. Use of mounted police is not “community friendly”; it is excessive, intimidating, and harmful to the horses. If APD cannot handle a drunk person without resorting to violence, they have no place on our streets.
    Let’s look at it another way. A priest molests a child. The bishop moves the priest to a new church. The priest molests another child. The bishop moves the priest again. Is the bishop someone you can trust and negotiate an agreement with? Or, would you demand to have him replaced?
    Police brutality originates at the top. The management sets the tone. Acevedo must go. Once we have new leadership, then we can start afresh. Until then, we are just moving the priest to another church.
    One last thought: civil disobedience. Study it – learn from the past. Who says you need a permit for a protest? That is the disobedience part. Civil is the peaceful part. When protesting police brutality, protest at the police department. No one at the Capitol cares.
Kynama Wald
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