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City Manager requests DOJ to investigate APD's Use-of-force tactics

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Austin City Manager Marc Ott has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation into the police department's use-of-force tactics.

On Monday afternoon, Austin City Manager Marc Ott called a news conference to make the announcement.

He began by offering his condolences to the family members of the man most recently killed by an APD bullet.

"The loss of life regardless of the circumstances is always saddening and when it involved our police force it's obviously something we take very seriously," Ott said.

On July 26th, officers say Larry Jackson Junior was acting suspiciously around a bank where a robbery had occurred earlier that day.

Jackson ran away. Robbery Detective Charles Kleinert followed. Officers say the men struggled and Jackson was shot in the back of the neck.

As a result of that shooting and others within the past two years, Ott announced he has sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting they investigate APD's tactical response.

"I want to be clear, that this does not signal any lack of faith in Chief Acevedo, his leadership team, or the men and women of the Austin Police Department. I simply feel we need an objective set of eyes come in and deal with this issue," Ott said.

This is the second time city leaders have made such a request. The first request was in 2005. In response, the DOJ made 160 recommendations which, by the most part, APD adopted.

"The DOJ has done a thorough evaluation and made recommendations on policies and procedures I'd like them to evaluate our practices to insure that our actions are consistent with those policies."

Adam Loewy, attorney for Jackson's mother, says he doesn't feel it's enough at least for his client.

"Let's have a specific investigation into the Jackson shooting," Loewy said. "That's what we need. The DOJ and the US attorney to conduct a grand jury and investigate what happened here. My client wants answers, the community wants answers. This is not the time or day for broad policy debate."

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell issued the following statement:

"I have discussed with the City Manager his decision to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to review the Austin Police Department's policies and practices and I am very supportive. I believe we have the finest police force in the country and this step should not be seen as a lack of confidence in APD or Chief Acevedo. As I have said, any loss of life is a tragedy and any efforts we can take to facilitate healing, trust and confidence within the community are steps well taken. I also believe this decision will be constructive for APD and our City."

APD Chief Art Acevedo also issued the following statement:

"I welcome the transparency a review of APD by DOJ brings. Transparency breeds trust, trust breeds cooperation, & cooperation breeds safety!"



Letter to DOJ

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