AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thursday night’s vigil at the Travis County Courthouse has been in the works for some time. It commemorates Rachel Jackson, who died eight years ago while an inmate at the Travis County Jail.
The vigil also became a place for those in attendance to talk about the dash came video released Thursday of last year’s arrest of Breaion King. Police Chief Art Acevedo said he was “sickened” and “saddened” by the violent arrest and subsequent comments in a patrol car by another officer. Acevedo agreed the comments were racist.
Those gathered at the vigil said they were disgusted by the video of King’s arrest, but not surprised.
“I think it can happen anywhere where racism and prejudice and oppression exist, and unfortunately I don’t know anywhere in the U.S. where that doesn’t happen,” Malcolm Harvin-Conner said at the vigil.
Fatima Mann, co-founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, said, “If she was a white woman, with blonde hair and blue eyes, he wouldn’t have pulled her out of that car, wouldn’t have slammed her in that fashion.” She continued, “Anybody wants to prove me wrong, you guys start posting videos of white women being dragged around by police officers, maybe we can have a conversation.”