Hello D5 for Black Lives Supporters,
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of another violent incident at the hands of Austin police. We are all familiar with resolutions that don’t come to fruition, and the City of Austin is no stranger to this either. But in this case, failed resolutions can mean life or death for Black and Brown Austinites.
On Jan. 5 at approximately 12:37 am, Alexander Gonzales was shot and killed by an on-duty Austin police officer. The officer fired as Gonzales was moving from the driver’s side of his vehicle to the passenger side, where his two-year-old child and his girlfriend were located. The woman, whose name has not yet been released, had been wounded moments earlier when an off-duty officer shot into the couple’s moving vehicle. She is reported to be in stable condition.
Because the officer who fired the initial shots was off duty, the body camera evidence is incomplete. Austin police are asking for anyone who may have surveillance or cell phone video to contact them. According to APD policy, the department should release video evidence related to an officer-involved shooting within 60 days.
CITY COUNCIL GOAL: Zero deaths at the hands of APD by 2023.
We are not off to a good start.
The City Council has made promises and set many goals aimed at eliminating police violence in our city but we’ve seen little progress. Most recently, we learned that Councilmember Ann Kitchen supports plans to launch a spring cadet class, bringing more young officers into a toxic culture rooted in violence.
What can we do?
As details regarding this deadly incident continues to emerge, we are asking D5 for Black Lives Supporters to gather with us for a community event this Tuesday 01/19 from 5:30-6:30 pm. During this time, we will gather together to process the violence that has already occured at the hands of police in 2021 and discuss our hopes for racial justice in the year ahead.
D5 for Black Lives Organizing Team