Reactions to Acevedo's comment: Too many bars downtown


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 26 at 10:24 PM

AUSTIN --- A series of recent crimes in the downtown Austin area has some reflecting on comments made earlier this week by Austin’s police chief regarding a 17 percent increase in violent crime in the area.

Video from two separate incidents on or near the 6th Street area happening hours apart last Saturday were uploaded onto YouTube catching the latest examples of crime.

One video clip captured the moments a 16-year old fired multiple shots at a car at a Wendy’s on the frontage road of I-35 and 7th Street.

The second video caught the sound of gunfire from police officers as they fired upon a woman who they said was trying to drive through a crowd of people.

On Tuesday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo blamed a near 17 percent increase in downtown violent crime this year partially on the high concentration of bars in the area.

“I really believe that when you look at our downtown we have more liquor licenses than any place in the country I think, or concentration of liquor licenses,” said Acevedo.

At least one businessman on Congress Avenue for 28 years told KVUE News that he believed the increase in violent crime has less to do with booze and more with the lack of a more visible police presence.

“If the traffic has increased it's because the number of bars have increased. It means the city needs to increase the numbers of police officers too,” said Moosa Meschin, owner of Cozzoli’s Pizza.

Since September 20, Austin police have been cracking down on people who violate city codes and ordinances in an effort to curb violent crime downtown.

The initiative runs through the end of the year.