Texas Cities Hear Calls For More Police Oversight And Less Police Funding

The outcries come amid ongoing protests against the police killings of black people.

By Becky Fogel and The Texas NewsroomJune 5, 2020 1:07 pm, , , , , ,

Hundreds of people signed up to speak at an emergency Austin City Council meeting Thursday. The meeting was focused on how police responded to protests last weekend.

Samuel Kersh told the council that officers in Austin fired projectiles at him, hitting his face.

“I suffered a broken nose; I believe it was also five or six broken bones near my upper cheek and the bone supporting my eye,” Kersh said.

Alex Birnel told members of the San Antonio City Council it was time to invest in community resources rather than law enforcement.

“Police, if you ask the average person, are supposed to enforce the law,” Birnel said. “We’ve expanded what enforcing the law means to include social disorder, distress and hardship.”

In Houston, City Council Member Edward Pollard told residents the focus should not be on cutting funding for the already lean police department.

“The bigger question and the bigger concern is how can we make our police department even better and hold them accountable for the misconduct some of the officers display so we can increase the trust between community and police,” Pollard said.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley agreed to bar officers from firing bags with lead pellets into crowds. Officers shot what’s known as beanbag ammunition at protestors last weekend, critically injuring a 20-year-old black man who is a student at Texas State University.


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