AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police officers took a knee on Saturday in an act of solidarity with people protesting against police brutality.
Chief Brian Manley was among the officers who kneeled alongside a group of protesters outside the Austin Police Department’s headquarters for a few minutes.
Police previously said the demonstration would last eight minutes and 46 seconds, representing the amount of time that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck while detaining him last month.
However, a protester with a megaphone, who was kneeling with officers, brought the display to an end a few minutes early.
It is unclear why officers did not kneel for the full eight minutes and 46 seconds, though some protesters continued to shout at officers during the demonstration.
Afterwards, a black officer took control of the megaphone and could be seen passionately addressing the crowd.
APD previously invited the public to kneel alongside their newly established community engagement team “to show solidarity in condemning the acts the killed George Floyd.”
It follows a week of protests against police brutality in Austin, with thousands of people taking to the streets of downtown and demonstrating outside APD HQ, on I-35, at the State Capitol and outside City Hall.
“Community members just want to be heard,” said Commander Chris Vallejo.
“Those that come here, they have the right to air their grievances to their government, to their police department.”
A large majority of demonstrations have been peaceful, with some showings of unity between police and protesters as the week went on.
However, several people were injured during clashes between police and protesters last weekend, including 20-year-old Justin Howell, who is in a critical condition.