The Department of Justice submitted a
"The vast remaining recommendations we have already implementedto an extent," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. "I am veryhappy to say that we will be able to completely, completelyimplement all those changes with very, very minor policychanges."
One change that the DOJ recommended was in thedepartment’s use-of-force policy. It is a subject that theChief says has already been addressed.
"We now have polices and procedures that require supervisors torespond to the scene of any use of force for determination ofassessment of the use of force," said Acevedo.
The investigation came about in 2004 when the NationalAssociation for the Advancement of Colored People, representedby the Texas Civil Rights Project, filed a federalcomplaint alleging Austin's black and Hispanic residents wereunfairly subjected to excessive force. Then in 2005, the City ofAustin requested the Department of Justice do theinvestigation.
APD said it welcomes the recommendations. One change suggests ifa use-of-force call goes out, then a supervisor immediatelyresponds. However, that recommendation has already beenimplemented. As for the recommendations that still need to beimplemented, Acevedo said making those minor changes will make thedepartment "worldclass." Civil rights leaders appeared besideAcevedo at the press conference and believe APD is on the righttrack, but much work is still needed.
"I think he acknowledges that problems do exist, but moreimportantly, they have already moved to address these issues inadvance is very encouraging," said Linder.
"It gives us an idea of what to look for," said Jim Harrington,with the Texas Civil Rights Project. "It gives us an idea of whatthe DOJ is concerned about. You noticed the DOJ has not releasedthe department. It's an ongoing relationship."
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.