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'The systemic killing of Black Americans must stop' | Mayor Adler writes letter on changes being made in Austin

Adler wrote in his letter that a peaceful future will require truth, reconciliation and accountability.

AUSTIN, Texas — Mayor Steve Adler Tweeted out a letter on Sunday reflecting on a week of protests in Austin and previewing actions that will be taken in the coming week.

Adler wrote in his letter that a peaceful future will require truth, reconciliation and accountability.

"This movement is the work of our lifetime. We must rise to the occasion. It has taken our country an embarrassingly long time to get here. People are angry. Fed up. Tired. Scared. Outraged. You Should be," said Adler.

Adler called for a police force that supports, implements and shares Austin's unique culture. He said there will be a review and accountability for all videos and complaints received from the city's protests.

"We have to get this right. Every challenge our city faces is complicated by race and inequity," Adler said. "We can't work on a more affordable Austin, transit, traffic, policing, homelessness, health care, access to capital, education, housing... without confronting our systemic inequities."

According to the letter, Adler made several commitments over the previous week, including the following:

  • Committing to the implementation of Campaign Zero's 8 Can't Wait policies to restrict police use of force.
  • Committing to former President Barrack Obama's and My Brother's Keeper's pledge to review police use of force policies, engage communities, report the findings of reviews to the community and reform the community's police use of force policies.
  • Signing on to the Grassroots Law Pledge to Justice, supporting policies that end police brutality and killings by restricting the use of force, creating nonlethal response teams and demilitarizing police forces; and holding law enforcement accountable by creating oversight committees with subpoena powers.

Adler announced several actions that will take place in the coming week, including the following:

  • Austin City Council will vote to reform police use of force policies.
  • Actions will be taken to prohibit the use of tear gas and impact munitions on those exercising the first amendment.
  • Actions will be taken to demilitarize the police.
  • Actions will be taken to limit no-knock warrants and facial recognition technology.
  • The Austin Police Department cadet class will be delayed until the training curriculum is improved.
  • Actions will be taken to limit barriers to housing for those formerly incarcerated or evicted to help prevent homelessness.
  • Specific and measurable zero racial disparity goals will be set to hold those in power accountable.

"Real change is hard, uncomfortable and not without risk. but that's okay," said Adler. "We have to lean into that discomfort in order to make real change."

Mayor Adler's full letter can be read here.

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