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NAACP defends APD Chief after recent police shooting

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The NAACP is defending Austin's police chief after a fiery town hall meeting Thursday night. That town hall meeting was about the recent officer-involved shooting death of an unarmed man.

It was filled with anger and calls for Chief Acevedo's resignation.

Thursday night APD Chief Art Acevedo took center stage in a town hall forum.

The crowd was packed with people who were hurt and angry about the recent officer-involved shooting death of Larry Jackson Junior.

Jackson, police say, was killed after Detective Charles Kleinert's gun accidentally went off during a struggle.

"I do care about Mr. Jackson," Acevedo told the crowd.

Someone replied by shouting a demand for an apology to the family.

"I already have apologized to them," Acevedo said.

An audience member then pointed out that Jackson's father and widow were in the audience.

"Ma'm I'm sorry I didn't see you. I am so sorry. I'll tell you right now in front of all these people I'm very sorry about your loss and my heart goes out to you and my heart goes out to those little children that don't have their dad," Acevedo said.

More uncomfortable moments follow as those in attendance approach the mic.

"It's not summertime until one of our black males or Hispanic males is gunned down like a dog," said a woman.

"Man to man, man to man, I'm not worried about your badge or your pretty little uniform, man to man are you gonna live up to your word if people think your heart is not in the right place are you going to step down and let somebody do a better job than you're doing? You deserve to be fired or if you will not be fired, I hope you burn in hell," said a male audience member."

"I'll be gone and there will be other incidents because, you know... You're right. When I'm gone it will be perfect, there won't be any other incidents," Acevedo replied.

NAACP Chapter President Nelson Linder, who attended the forum, says firing the chief is not the answer.

"Acevedo has earned the right to be the police chief in this city," Nelson said. "If you focus on him, you miss the whole point. These issues are systemic institutions city council just as much to blame, D.A.'s office probably more to blame. If you put it on Acevedo you've missed the ball park."

Linder says now the real work begins and he encourages those who spoke at the event to join him.

"Don't just come out when things are bad. Make things right by being involved on a sustained level every day," he said.

Linder will appear before the City of Austin Human Rights Commission in two weeks to discuss APD's pursuit policy and an economic plan that focuses on the zip code 78702 where he says the most people have died in officer-involved shootings.

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