Community rallies at city hall for David Joseph

Community rallies at city hall for David Joseph

AUSTIN -- The Austin City Council meeting started Thursday by recognizing the loss of a young life. Mayor Steve Adler said the investigation will play out, but one fact remains. 

"At the end of the day, we will have loss David Joseph in our community and I just want us to take a moment, think about him and his family," he said before everyone in the chambers observed a moment of silence.

Outside City Hall, the Austin Justice Coalition, Black Lives Matter and Measure Austin were also thinking about the unarmed, naked 17-year old who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer Monday morning as they held a protest.

They silently moved their peaceful protest into the council chambers where they stood for an hour before moving back outside and chanting. 

As they rallied, some unexpected guests joined them; the mayor and council.

"We thank you for being here, we want to work with you," Chas Moore, co-founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, said to Mayor Adler. "As you can see, this is a group of all shades of people, all ages of people and we just want this to stop."

Moore presented the Mayor a list of four demands:

  1. A complete and thorough internal investigation conducted immediately and completed in less than 30 days,
  2. Immediate review and audit of Austin Police Department's Policy Manual #445 (Mental Health Response) by the City of Austin, U.S. Department of Justice and an independent investigator,
  3. Immediate review and audit of the Use of Force Policy by the Department of Justice and independent investigator,
  4. Members of the Austin Justice Coalition be invited to actively participate in the selection of the outside independent investigator.

"I think the demands we presented today are feasible. I think they're not lofty like, you know, a lot of times protestors present to police departments and city heads. We want to show people, if you go about it the right way, you can cause systematic and long-withstanding change," Moore said. 

Adler told the crowd what action he and the city are taking. 

"Quite frankly, as I read the demands that were handed to me, they seem to be headed in the same direction and doing the same thing," Adler said.

"I stand with you with respect to pushing these things forward," Adler added. 

After he finished speaking, Adler and the council went back into City Hall to continue the meeting. The members of the organizations said they plan to continue their protest until 7 p.m.


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