APD Looks North

On June 20, APD Chief Stan Knee said department officials will travel to Tennessee within the next two months to learn about the exemplary crisis intervention program run by the Memphis Police Dept. The announcement came during a noon press conference, held just one week after officers responding to a disturbance call in East Austin shot and killed 24-year-old Sophia King. The shooting of King, who reportedly suffered from schizophrenia, has sparked controversy over APD's handling of people with mental health problems.

Knee said the department will form a task force, made up of experts in the fields of health services and law enforcement, to advise the community on better management of mental health issues. Within the next two months, Knee said, APD reps will travel to Memphis to see how its police department handles similar problems. The MPD's crisis intervention team has been held up as a national model, and Knee hopes Austin can learn from their successes. "We want to make sure we're doing things as well as we can," he said.

Although the King situation was unfortunate for all involved, Knee reiterated, 16-year veteran Officer John Coffey handled the situation by the book. According to Knee, King threatened to stab a housing authority employee with a butcher knife outside her Rosewood Ave. home, Coffey shot her. Meanwhile, Knee said, several independent investigations into the shooting are under way, including an Internal Affairs investigation that should be ready by July 29, and a critical incident review scheduled for completion by Aug. 26. The case was forwarded to the grand jury June 24.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle