Thursday, February 17, 2022

City Statements on Anticipated Protest Indictments Against Austin Police Officers

Following the District Attorney's announcement earlier today of anticipated criminal charges against Austin Police Officers related to the May 2020 protests, the City is sharing the following statements.

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk:

"We wish that there had been no injuries during the May 2020 protests, and the City is taking responsibility to compensate those who were injured due to actions of police officers.

"However, any indictments will heighten the anxiety of our officers and will impact the staffing shortages we are experiencing. We are disappointed to be in this position, and we do not believe that criminal indictments of the officers working under very difficult circumstances is the correct outcome.

"Regardless of our perspective on this matter, we respect the District Attorney and the Grand Jury process and we will continue to work in partnership with our sister agency."

Austin Police Department Chief Joseph Chacon:

"While I respect the grand jury process, I am disappointed to hear the District Attorney anticipates indictments of APD Officers related to the 2020 protests.

"As a department, we asked these officers to work under the most chaotic of circumstances in May 2020, and to make split second decisions to protect all participants. I am not aware of any conduct that, given the circumstances the officers were working under, would rise to the level of a criminal violation by these officers. 

"As we move forward, these officers must be afforded all of the same protections of any defendant, including the presumption of innocence and the right to a speedy trial.

"As we go through this process, I have been and remain supportive of the hardworking men and women of the Austin Police Department. I also want to re-emphasize my commitment to transparency and the rebuilding of trust between APD and the community."
  • Earlier today Austin City Council approved settlements in two lawsuits related to the May 2020 protests. Under the settlements, Justin Howell will receive $8 million and Anthony Evans will receive $2 million.

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