NAACP, civil rights advocates file suit against APD



Posted on June 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 27 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- A new lawsuit is being filed against the Austin Police Department.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, and the Texas Civil Rights Project are filing the suit. It's their second administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against APD and the City of Austin.

The NAACP is accusing the police department of a "systematic practice of racial discrimination and police misconduct (wrongful deaths, brutality, and unlawful and discriminatory searches) that disproportionately affects the African American and Hispanic community."

Wednesday morning NAACP's Nelson Linder joined attorney Jim Harrington with the Civil Rights Project to explain why another investigation is needed.

When federal officials closed their four-year investigation into the department last May, they gave 165 recommendations. Linder said the recent shooting deaths of Ahmede Bradley and Byron Carter Jr, both minority suspects, show work still needs to be done.

"We see still excessive force. We see unexplained killings. We see that the preservation of life policy doesn't mean anything different than it did before," Harrington said.

In addition to the recommendations, the Department of Justice closed their investigation, saying they did not find any violations within APD operations.

The lawsuit is asking for federal funds to be withheld from APD until certain measures are implemented.

Tonight on KVUE News Nightbeat at 10 p.m., hear strong words from Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, and why he says this complaint doesn't reflect the work his officers do.

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