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Police Greeted With Anger, Frustration At Town Hall Meeting
Updated: Friday, August 16 2013, 02:35 PM CDT
It was an emotional Thursday evening during a town hall meeting in East Austin. There was a lot of anger over the most recent officer-involved shooting that left Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. dead. Some of it came from Chas Moore who met Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo years ago.
He asked the chief a direct question.
"Man to man, man to man I'm not worried about your badge or your pretty little uniform, man to man are you going to live up to your word and step down if these people feel your heart isn't in it?" asked Moore.
His question was met with applause from the audience. There was also distrust expressed from Robert Muhammad of The Nation of Islam. "It was the Jackson family today, it might be your family tomorrow," he said.
Kristina DeWitty told police how frustrated she was with shootings continuing to happen, saying, "It's not summertime until one of our black males or Hispanic males is gunned down like a dog."
A University of Texas English professor challenged what police tell people who live here. "You can't both say that there are bad cops, there may be racists cops, and tell people not to run?"
The strong words weren't just from the audience. Adam Loewy the family for Larry Jackson's family had some strong words as well.
"Explain how you accidentally discharge a gun in the back of someone's head," he asked.
It was a tough crowd for Chief Acevedo. When he asked "why would you run?" His questions were answered with shouts from the audience of "Because they have guns " and "that's no reason to shoot!"
The goal was to find solutions, but it seems all police found is how upset the community is about this shooting.
Police monitor Margo Frazier did say a change is coming. Her office makes a recommendation to the police chief if she thinks an officer should be fired or suspended. That recommendation is only public when the police chief disciplines the officer. Now regardless of what the chief does, that recommendation will be public.
By Melanie Lofton