ACCESS News: Austin Chief of Police, Art Acevedo


DO YOU TRUST THE GOVERNMENT? DO YOU TRUST THE MEN
AND WOMEN WHO WEAR A BADGE AND ARE SWORN TO PROTECT
AND SERVE? HAVE YOU HAD ENCOUNTERS WITH
THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT? IF YOU ARE A POLICE OFFICER, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO FEEL
THE PUBLIC MAY NOT TRUST YOU? WHAT HAPPENS
WHEN GOOD COPS GO BAD? TODAY ON ACCESS NEWS, WE’LL BE ASKING
THE CHIEF OF POLICE, CHIEF ART ACEVEDO
THOSE QUESTIONS AND MORE. YOU’RE WATCHING
ACCESS NEWS, HANDS ON NEWS. ACCESS NEWS IS PLEASED
TO WELCOME ART ACEVEDO, THE CHIEF OF POLICE
HERE IN AUSTIN. HE BECAME CHIEF OF POLICE
IN 2007, AND IS THE FIRST HISPANIC
TO LEAD THE POLICE FORCE. HE HAS MORE THAN 20 YEARS
OF LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE, AND HE’S BEEN CALLED
THE “CHANGE AGENT” TO RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST
AND ELIMINATE POLICE CORRUPTION. IN OTHER WORDS HE TRIES TO MAKE
THE THIN BLUE LINE THINNER. WELCOME TO ACCESS NEWS, CHIEF. THANK YOU.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. I KNOW RIGHT NOW
WITH ALL THE FIRES HAPPENING IN BASTROP, IT’S JUST
REALLY AN AWFUL SITUATION. I KNOW 1,500 HOMES
HAVE BEEN LOST AND THOUSANDS OF ACRES
HAVE BEEN BURNED. WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP
PREVENT FUTURE FIRES LIKE THIS? WELL, FIRST, I THINK IT’S
IMPORTANT FOR THE COMMUNITY TO REALIZE YOU NEED
TO PROTECT YOUR OWN HOME BY BUILDING A NATURAL
FIRE WALL AROUND IT, AND THAT IS REMOVE
DRY BRUSH AWAY FROM YOUR HOME, AT LEAST 20 FEET– 25 FEET. IF YOU’RE GONNA HAVE GRASS,
TRY TO WATER IT. PEOPLE FORGET YOU CAN
STILL WATER BY HAND EVEN WITH THE WATER
RESTRICTIONS. AND IF YOU SEE DEAD THINGS,
REMOVE IT BECAUSE ALL THAT IS,
IS FUEL FOR THE FIRE. AND THE HOMES THAT HAVE
SURVIVED IN BASTROP, YOU’LL SEE EVERYTHING
AROUND THEM BURNT DOWN BUT THE PEOPLE
THAT DID THOSE THINGS, THEIR HOMES SURVIVED,
MIRACULOUSLY. SO THERE ARE SOME HOMES THAT
MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRE BECAUSE THEY WERE
WATERING THEIR YARD AND REMOVING THE BRUSH? ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY. AND IN OTHER STATES,
IT’S– YOU’RE REQUIRED BY LAW TO REMOVE BRUSH,
CLEAR BRUSH AND TO CREATE THAT
NATURAL FIRE BREAK IN CASE OF BRUSH FIRES. IN THIS CASE IT WASN’T
A BRUSH FIRE, IT’S A FIRESTORM. IT WAS JUST–
IT WAS PRETTY BAD. I WAS OUT THERE FOR SEVERAL DAYS
AND IT WAS VERY SAD TO SEE. I’M REALLY SORRY
TO HEAR THAT. WE’RE HOPING THAT EVERYONE
RECOVERS QUICKLY. ALSO I WANT TO ASK A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT THE TRUST OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. WHY DO WE OFTEN HEAR ABOUT
THE PUBLIC NOT TRUSTING THEIR POLICE DEPARTMENTS? WELL, I DON’T THINK
IT’S JUST POLICE DEPARTMENTS. PEOPLE DON’T TRUST
GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW. IF YOU LOOK AT
THE TRUST OF GOVERNMENT, IT IS AN ALL-TIME
HISTORICAL LOW, AND I THINK SOME OF IT
IS WELL DESERVED. BUT I THINK WHAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT IN YOUR INTRO THAT WE’RE TRYING TO THIN
THE THIN BLUE LINE FURTHER. WELL, WHAT I WANT TO DO
IS STRENGTHEN BY HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE,
BY HAVING HIGH STANDARDS, BY BEING TRANSPARENT, AND BY ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY
LIKE WE’RE DOING HERE TODAY. I THINK THAT’S THAT WHERE YOU
HELP BUILD BRIDGES AND OVERCOME THE MISTRUST. ABSOLUTELY. AND LIKE I SAID IN THE INTRO,
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE CALL YOU
A CHANGE AGENT. YEAH. AND YOU LEAD CHANGE. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE
LEAD UP TO THAT NAME? I THINK THAT THROUGHOUT
MY CAREER I’VE BEEN KNOWN TO– WHEN I SEE A PROBLEM,
I FIX IT. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU JUST
LOOK THE OTHER WAY BECAUSE A PROBLEM AS THIS BIG
YOU KNOW WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IF YOU DON’T ADDRESS IT QUICKLY,
HONESTLY AND VERY AGGRESSIVELY. AND SO– NOW, IT’S, YOU KNOW,
LIFE IS A ABOUT MAKING POSITIVE CHANGE
AND THAT’S WHAT WE TRY TO DO IN THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT. SO YOU’RE SAYING THAT
THE THIN BLUE LINE HERE AUSTIN HAS BECOME THINNER? NO, I THINK THAT
IT’S BECOME BETTER. I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN 2007 BEFORE THIS CURRENT
EXECUTIVE TEAM– LEADERSHIP TEAM CAME TOGETHER,
AND YOU LOOK AT IT TODAY, IT’S TOTALLY
A DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT. WE HAVE A TOTALLY
DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY. YOU KNOW, I’VE GOT ANNA SABANA,
OUR PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGER, WHO’S SITTING HERE
IN THE AUDIENCE WITH US TODAY, WHO HAS HELPED US REALLY
TRANSFORM THE DEPARTMENT FROM ONE THAT WAS VERY CLOSED
TO ONE THAT’S VERY OPEN. I MEAN, IF WE CAN SHARE
INFORMATION, WE DO. WE’RE NOT THE CIA,
WE DON’T HIDE THINGS AND SO WE’VE BECOME
VERY TRANSPARENT, I THINK ITS REALLY
MADE THE DIFFERENCE. I THINK VERY OFTEN
THAT THE PUBLIC KIND OF CLUMPS ALL
OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, CIA, FBI, ALL THAT
INTO ONE GROUP, AND I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT
THAT PROBABLY HAPPENS. THE PUBLIC DISTRUST
THAT DOES OCCUR, DOES THAT MAKE YOUR JOB
MORE DIFFICULT? AND WHAT WOULD THAT FEEL LIKE? WELL, I WILL SAY THIS, THAT IF WITHOUT PUBLIC TRUST,
WE CAN’T DO OUR JOBS. AND I REALLY BELIEVE THAT TRANSPARENCY BREEDS TRUST, TRUST BREEDS COOPERATION, AND COOPERATION
BREEDS SAFETY IN OUR COMMUNITIES,
IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, IN OUR SCHOOLS. AND SO THAT’S WHY I THINK
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO REALLY ENGAGE ONE ANOTHER. THERE ARE GONNA BE TIMES
WHEN WE HAVE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
BUT I THINK WE CAN AGREE OR DISAGREE IN A RESPECTFUL
MANNER SOMETIMES. THAT MAKES ME THINK OF ONE
SITUATION THAT HAPPENED IN 2009, THAT WAS JUNE OF 2009. A WOMAN NAMED ESTER VALDEZ,
I’M NOT SURE IF YOU REMEMBER. BUT IT WAS A DEAF WOMAN
AND SHE WAS WALKING ALONG THE STREET,
AND THE POLICE OFFICER, OFFICER WILLIS, YELLED FOR HER
TO STOP WALKING BUT OBVIOUSLY SHE DIDN’T
HEAR OFFICER WILLIS, AND SO THE RESULT ENDED UP
BEING THAT WAS ARRESTED FOR RESISTING ARREST. SO, WHAT HAS
YOUR DEPARTMENT DONE SINCE THEN TO PREVENT THAT KIND
OF MISUNDERSTANDING ‘CAUSE AUSTIN HAS SUCH
A LARGE DEAF COMMUNITY. WE HAVE A PROGRAM CALLED
THE IMMERSION PROGRAM, WHICH IS A PROGRAM THAT REQUIRES
OUR CADETS AND OUR OFFICERS TO GO INTO DIFFERENT
COMMUNITIES. COMMUNITIES WITH COLOR,
THE DEAF COMMUNITY, PEOPLE WITH OTHER PHYSICAL
HANDICAPS SO THEY CAN LEARN WHAT THE CHALLENGES ARE, AND THEY CAN LEARN HOW
TO BETTER SERVE THAT COMMUNITY. BUT EVEN ON THAT INSTANCE,
I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT EVEN FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEAF
COMMUNITY TO KNOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT YOU MAY NOT
BE ABLE TO HEAR BUT THE OFFER DOESN’T, AND IF AN OFFICER PUTS HANDS
ON YOU TO TELL YOU TO STOP, DON’T START DOING THIS AND
LOOKING LIKE YOU’RE RESISTING BECAUSE IN HIS MIND,
IT APPEARS YOU’RE RESISTING. SO YOU HAVE TO BE– SO WHAT DO WE DO INSTEAD? I WOULD– IF THE OFFICER
PUTS THEIR HANDS ON YOU, JUST COOPERATE,
DON’T PULL AWAY UNTIL THINGS CALM DOWN. AND THEN YOU CAN VERY QUICKLY,
YOU KNOW, THROUGH SIGN LANGUAGE OR THROUGH MANNERISMS
“THAT I DON’T HEAR.” IT’S REALLY TOUGH TO DO…
TO STAY CALM AND YOU KNOW.
RIGHT. IT IS BUT YOU HAVE TO ALSO–
IT’S A TWO-WAY– IT’S TWO DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES,
FROM THE OFFICER’S MIND, YOU DON’T HAVE A SIGN
ON YOU THAT SAYS, YOU KNOW “I DON’T HEAR”. SO I THINK SOMETIMES
WE DON’T PUT OUR SHOES IN THE OTHER PERSON’S FEET. YOU UNDERSTAND
WHAT I’M SAYING? SO I WOULD JUST SAY,
ONCE THE OFFICER KNOWS, THEN EVERYTHING
WILL CALM DOWN. SO YOU’LL HAVE A CHANCE
TO EXPLAIN THE CHALLENGE– AND WE’RE SMART– WE CARRY
NOTEBOOKS WITH US. WE HAVE THE ABILITY
TO CALL IN TRANSLATORS, SO JUST BE PATIENT
AND JUST REALIZE THAT THE OFFICER DOESN’T KNOW
THAT YOU HAVE A CHALLENGE, BUT ONCE THEY DO, WE CAN WORK
ON THE COMMUNICATION. I THINK IT’S REALLY
IMPORTANT THAT BOTH THE DEAF COMMUNITY
AND THE POLICE OFFICERS UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL
OF MISUNDERSTANDING.
ABSOLUTELY. AND IT’S, REALLY,
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH TO MAKE THAT COMMUNICATION
EFFECTIVE. I KNOW THAT MY HUSBAND
WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER, HIS FATHER– HE WAS GIVEN A CARD
AND HE CARRIED ALONG WITH HIM THAT SAID, “I AM DEAF,”
AND WHEN HE WAS PULLED OVER, HE WOULD SHOW THAT CARD. I’M NOT SURE IF THAT’S
APPROPRIATE THESE DAYS OR NOT BUT WILL THAT HELP SOMETHING
LIKE THAT TO A POLICE OFFICER? SOME KIND OF CARD
READY TO JUST PRESENT? ABSOLUTELY. AND I’D NEVER FORGET AS A YOUNG
POLICE OFFICER MYSELF, I WENT TO A CRASH,
A CAR CRASH SCENE, AND THERE WAS
TWO GUYS THERE. THE OTHER PARTY
HAD ALREADY LEFT, AND THE STORY THAT THESE TWO
SPEAKING AND HEARING INDIVIDUALS ARE TELLING ME
DIDN’T QUITE ADD UP. AND THEN WHEN I WENT
TO THE HOSPITAL, THE OTHER DRIVER WAS A PERSON
THAT COULDN’T SPEAK AND HAD HEARING ISSUES. SO CLEARLY WHAT THESE GUYS
WERE HOPING IS THAT I WOULDN’T
TAKE THE TIME TO GET TO HEAR HER SIDE OF THE STORY, AND SO I ACTUALLY SPEND
AN EXTRA HOUR AT THE HOSPITAL, WAITED TILL I GET AN AMERICAN
SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER. AND ONCE SHE WAS ABLE
TO COMMUNICATE HER SIDE OF THE STORY,
IT WAS CLEAR TO ME THAT THEY TRIED
TO TAKE ADVANTAGE, AND I’M JUST HAPPY
THAT WE HAD THE ABILITY TO CALL IN RESOURCES LIKE
THIS YOUNG LADY TO MY RIGHT TO MAKE SURE
WE GOT IT RIGHT. AND THAT NO INJUSTICE
OCCURRED OUT THERE. SO WE TRY AND WE’RE NOT
GONNA BE PERFECT BUT I THINK WHAT WE CAN DO IS LEARN
FROM EACH OTHER AND MOVE AHEAD. FORGE AHEAD TOGETHER. YEAH, AND IT’S AN ON-GOING
EFFORT REALLY.
ABSOLUTELY. AS YOU KNOW ACCESS NEWS,
WE TALK ABOUT OUR AMERICAN FOUNDING DOCUMENTS
AND THROUGH A SEGMENT CALLED “A MORE PERFECT UNION”. AND LET’S GO AHEAD
AND TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO WATCH DON MILLER
AND SEE WHAT HE HAS TO SAY. WHAT IS THE RULE OF LAW? THANKS, TAMARA. HI, I’M DON MILLER. TODAY, WE COMMUNICATE
WITH EMAIL, TELEPHONE, VIDEOPHONES, TEXTING, SNAIL MAIL, BLOGS, AND THE INTERNET. BUT THE ONLY WAY
THE FOUNDERS COULD MEET TO DISCUSS AND DEBATE
AS A GROUP WAS TO SIT IN A ROOM
FACE TO FACE. THIS WAS NO EASY TASK
TO GET THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 13 COLONIES TOGETHER. WHEN THEY FINALLY
DID GET TOGETHER, THEY HAD TO WRITE DOWN
WHAT THEY WANTED IN A NEW GOVERNMENT. THEY MANAGED TO MEET
FACE TO FACE IN 1774, CALLING THEMSELVES THE FIRST
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS WHICH FORMED THE BASIS
OF WHAT WAS TO BECOME THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. LET’S WATCH. ELECTIVE REPRESENTATIVES
FROM 12 OF THE 13 COLONIES MET FROM SEPTEMBER 5TH
TO OCTOBER 26 HERE AT PHILADELPHIA’S
CARPENTER HALL. THESE REPRESENTATIVES
FORMED THE CONGRESS THAT WILL ESSENTIALLY GOVERN
AMERICA FOR THE NEXT 15 YEARS. IT WAS 1774, AND THOUGH THE DELEGATES
WE’RE NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR AS TO THE FIRST CONTINENTAL
CONGRESS’ ULTIMATE PURPOSE, IN RETROSPECT, THEY INAUGURATED
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN RESPONSE
TO THE BOSTON TEA PARTY, THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT ENACTED
A SERIES OF PROVOCATIVE LAWS DUBBED “THE INTOLERABLE ACTS
BY THE COLONIES.” THIS LEGISLATION
PUNISHED BOSTON AND REESTABLISHED
BRITISH AUTHORITY OVER THE ENTIRE COLONY. THE LAST AND MOST
INFLAMMATORY ACT REQUIRED THAT COLONISTS QUARTER
BRITISH TROOPS IN THEIR HOMES. AT THE OPENING OF THE FIRST
CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, PATRICK HENRY,
DELEGATE FROM VIRGINIA, ADDRESSED THE DELEGATES
WITH THESE ELECTRIFYING WORDS, “THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN
VIRGINIANS, PENNSYLVANIANS NEW YORKERS AND NEW ENGLANDERS
ARE NO MORE. I AM NOT A VIRGINIAN,
BUT AN AMERICAN.” BY THE TIME CONGRESS ADJOURNED,
RESOLUTION WERE PASSED OPPOSING THE INTOLERABLE ACTS AND 10 COLONIAL RIGHTS
WERE SPELLED OUT INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO LIFE,
LIBERTY, AND PROPERTY. WHEN THE DELEGATES
TO THE CONGRESS SUCH AS SAM ADAMS, JOHN ADAMS,
AND GEORGE WASHINGTON LEFT CARPENTER HALL, THE AMERICAN COLONIES HAD ACTED
AS A SINGLE NATION FOR THE FIRST TIME. WHILE THESE MEN OF VISION
AND TALENT WAITED FOR THE BRITISH RESPONSE
TO THEIR PROCLAMATIONS, THE FIGHTS HAD ALREADY BEGUN
AS TROOPS FROM BOTH SIDES MOVED FOR ADVANTAGE. WHAT WOULD YOU DO
WHEN CONFRONTED WITH UNFAIR
AND UNJUST LAWS? THE COLONISTS TRIED
TO EXPLAIN THEIR FRUSTRATION TO THE KING OF ENGLAND
AND TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE BUT WERE IGNORED. THEY TOO HAVE BEEN DEAF
TO THE VOICE OF JUSTICE. THESE WORDS ARE FOUND IN
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND REPRESENT
THOSE FRUSTRATIONS AND THE NECESSITY OF SEPARATING
FROM GREAT BRITAIN. WHAT WOULD YOU DO
IF YOU DISAGREE WITH OUR LAWS? WHAT CAN WE DO? SHARE YOUR OPINIONS,
JOIN THE DISCUSSION AT OUR WEBSITE,
ACCESSNEWS.US. “.US” FOR UNITED STATES. WHAT DO YOU THINK? FOR ACCESS NEWS,
I’M DON MILLER. WHAT IS THE RULE OF LAW? EVERYONE MUST FOLLOW THE LAW, AND THE GOVERNMENT
MUST OBEY THE LAW AND NO ONE
IS ABOVE THE LAW. THANK YOU, DON. WE’RE HERE CHATTING WITH
CHIEF OF POLICE, ART ACEVEDO ON ACCESS NEWS. CHIEF, THANKS FOR BEING
WITH US HERE TODAY. OH, I’M REALLY HAPPY TO BE HERE.
THANKS FOR HAVING ME. I’D LIKE TO TALK
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU MENTIONED EARLIER,
COOPERATING WITH THE POLICE. RECENTLY, RICK PERRY,
OUR GOVERNOR, MENTIONED THAT HE BELIEVES LOCAL POLICE
SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE THEIR DISCRETION
TO QUESTION PEOPLE RELATED TO
THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS, WHETHER THEY’RE BEEN PULLED
OVER OR WITNESS TO A CRIME. OPPONENTS FEEL LIKE THAT
COULD LEAD TO RACIAL PROFILING, OR MAYBE MAKE PEOPLE
MORE AFRAID AND NOT COOPERATE
WITH THE POLICE. NOT BE WILLING TO REPORT
CRIMES AND SO FORTH. SO, I’M CURIOUS–
YOU’RE OPINION ON THAT ABOUT AUSTIN POLICE BEING ABLE
TO QUESTION PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS. WELL, I THINK MY POSITION
AND THE POSITION OF MOST OF THE POLICE CHIEF OF THE MAJOR
POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN THE COUNTRY
IS VERY CLEAR. I ACTUALLY HAVE WRITTEN
EDITORIALS ABOUT IT OR COMMENTARY, AND TESTIFIED
IN THE LEGISLATURE AGAINST THE CENTURY CITY LAWS. WE’RE HERE TO KEEP
PEOPLE SAFE. AND WHEN YOU DISCOURAGE
PEOPLE THAT ARE VICTIMS OF CRIME OR WITNESSES TO CRIME FROM
COOPERATING FROM THE POLICE, THAT’S HURTS US ALL. WE DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES,
WE DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO BECOME IMMIGRATION AGENTS, AND I’M VERY THANKFUL THAT AS THE RESULT OF THE POLICE
CHIEF STANDING UP AGAINST THAT BAD LEGISLATION
BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING BUT POLITICS, NOT GOOD
PUBLIC POLICY. THAT WE’RE ABLE
TO KILL THAT LAW. AND I HOPE IT DOESN’T
COME BACK AGAIN BECAUSE IT REALLY DOES
ULTIMATELY HURT PUBLIC SAFETY. I ACTUALLY AGREE
WITH YOU ON THAT ONE. I ALSO WANTED TO ASK YOU
A QUESTION ABOUT THE PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
WITH POLICE. THERE IS AN OFFICE CALLED
THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC MONITOR. POLICE MONITOR.
OH, THE POLICE MONITOR. YES.
RIGHT, OPM. AND THERE’S A CATEGORY
OF SEVEN PEOPLE CALLED THE CITIZEN
REVIEW PANEL. CORRECT. AND SO THEY’RE ABLE TO GET
INVOLVED WITH INVESTIGATIONS IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS WHEN THERE’S
AN INCIDENT THAT HAPPENS. CORRECT. AND THEY CAN MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESULTS AND THAT SORT OF THING. SO MY QUESTION FOR YOU
IS I KNOW THAT THAT PANEL CAN MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS,
HOWEVER, THEY DON’T HAVE SUBPOENA POWER.
RIGHT. SO IS– DO THEY REALLY HAVE
MUCH INFLUENCE OR DO THEY REALLY
HAVE MUCH POWER? WELL, I MEAN,
THEY HAVE A VOICE. AND THEY HAVE A VOICE THAT– AND THEY HAVE TWO THINGS: THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THE FILES
IN TERMS OF THE INVESTIGATION. THEY HAVE ACCESS TO– AND THE ABILITY TO QUESTION
THE INVESTIGATORS. AND I THINK THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING IS THAT THEY HAVE A VOICE,
A VOICE TO AS A GROUP OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS
TO WEIGH IN. AND I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT
BECAUSE WE HAVE THE NATHANIEL SANDERS
SHOOTING INCIDENT. NATHANIEL SANDERS WAS SHOT BY
OFFICER LEONARDO QUINTANA, FORMER OFFICER
LEONARDO QUINTANA. AND I THINK IT’S REALLY
IMPORTANT FOR THIS COMMUNITY TO REMEMBER THAT
THE CITIZENS REVIEW PANEL AND EVEN THE OFFICE
OF POLICE MONITOR WEIGHED IN EVEN AFTER THE KEY POINT REPORT,
THAT CONTROVERSIAL REPORT, AND THEY STILL SAID THAT
OFFICER QUINTANA, WELL, HE USED DEADLY FORCE,
HAD DONE SO IN A LAWFUL MANNER. AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN
RECOMMEND THAT I FIRE HIM. THEY ONLY RECOMMENDED
A 90-DAY SUSPENSION, WHICH I THINK IS IMPORTANT FOR
PEOPLE TO KEEP THAT PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL HAVE YOU
BELIEVE THAT HE COMMITTED A MURDER OR SOMETHING OUT THERE
WHICH IS SIMPLY NOT THE TRUTH. SO I’M WONDERING IF THOSE
KINDS OF CONFLICTS COULD BE BETTER RESOLVED
IF YOU GAVE THE PANEL SUBPOENA POWER? TO ME THAT WOULD JUST BE
DEALING WITH PERCEPTION INSTEAD OF REALITY
BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY I’M GONNA MAKE THE DECISION. WE’RE NOT HIDING ANYTHING. THEY ALREADY HAVE ACCESS
TO ALL THE EVIDENCE. THE POLICE MONITOR IS
AT THE ACTUAL SHOOTING SCENE, SEEING WITH HER OWN EYES, PARTICIPATING WITH
THE POLICE CHIEF. AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT’S
INTERESTING IS THAT PEOPLE THINK WE HAVE
THIS HUGE PROBLEM HERE WHEN THE REALITY, THE FACTS
ARE THAT THIS POLICE DEPARTMENT USES DEADLY FORCE MUCH LESS THAN
MOST MAJOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS. IF YOU’RE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.,
I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THEY SHOOT AT PEOPLE
A LOT MORE THAN WE DO. AND I THINK PEOPLE NEED
TO REALIZE THAT I’VE FIRED THREE OFFICERS SINCE
I’VE BEEN HERE FOR EXCESSIVE FORCE. SO I FOLLOW THE LAW, I FOLLOW POLICY,
I FOLLOW PROCEDURES. THAT’S HOW I DECIDE WHAT TO DO
BECAUSE WHEN YOU LEAD, YOU LEAD THROUGH INTELLECT
AND NOT THROUGH EMOTION. AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM,
SOMETIMES PEOPLE GET EMOTIONAL AND THEY DON’T SEE
THE FACTS, THEY DON’T WANT
TO HEAR THE FACTS. SO THE FACTS ARE THAT
WE RARELY USE DEADLY FORCE, AND THE FACTS ARE THAT
I HAVE FIRED THREE OFFICERS WHEN THEIR FORCE
WAS NOT APPROPRIATE. I CAN IMAGINE THAT WAS
A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION FOR YOU TO BE IN. IT’S HARD TO FACE SOME
OF THOSE ISSUES AND AT THE SAME TIME,
YOU KNOW, YOU’RE TRYING TO GAIN
THE TRUST OF THE PUBLIC. I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT
WHAT WE CAN DO AS CITIZENS TO HELP THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
BETTER PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES? WELL, I THINK,
FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOU NEED TO BE
A GOOD NEIGHBOR. YOU HAVE TO BE
A NOSY NEIGHBOR. WHEN YOU SEE A CAR DRIVING
AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD THAT YOU’VE NEVER
SEEN BEFORE, AND YOU SEE PEOPLE
LOOKING IN THEIR WINDOWS, CALL THE POLICE. CALL US OUT BECAUSE THAT’S
WHAT’S LIFE’S ABOUT, IS HELPING ONE ANOTHER. SECONDLY, DON’T MAKE
YOURSELF AN EASY TARGET. IF YOU’RE A WOMAN AND YOU
ARE GOING INTO A PARKING LOT TO GET INTO YOUR VEHICLE, DON’T HAVE YOUR KEYS
IN A PURSE AND AT NIGHT LOOKING FOR YOUR KEYS,
BE READY. HAVE YOUR KEY OUT. WALK UP, UNLOCK YOUR CAR,
GET IN, LOCK THE DOOR, AND GO ON
WITH YOUR BUSINESS. LOCK YOUR DOORS AT HOME.
LOCK YOUR GARAGE. DON’T LEAVE
YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPEN. SO A LOT OF GOOD COMMON SENSE
AND GOOD JUDGMENT GOES A LONG WAY. OKAY, REALLY ONE THING WE HAVE
TO REMEMBER IS THAT COMMON SENSE IS NOT ALWAYS COMMON.
YES. SO WE REALLY NEED
TO EMPHASIZE THAT. BELIEVE ME, I KNOW. AND FOR LADIES,
ESPECIALLY DOWNTOWN, EVERYBODY ASKS, DO WE HAVE
A SAFE DOWNTOWN? WE HAVE ONE OF THE SAFEST
DOWNTOWNS IN THE COUNTRY. WHAT WILL LEAVE YOU
TO NOT BEING SAFE IS WHEN YOU GO OUT
AND YOU GET DRUNK. AND, NOW, YOU’RE STUMBLING
DOWN THE STREET, YOU ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY
TO BECOME A VICTIM OF CRIME WHEN THEY SEE AN EASY TARGET
THAN TO SOMEBODY THAT’S USING GOOD SENSE. DON’T BE RUNNING A TRAIL
IN THE MIDDLE OF A NIGHT, AT NIGHT BY YOURSELF
WITH NO ONE AROUND BECAUSE YOU’RE JUST GONNA
MAKE YOURSELF A TARGET. IT’S JUST, AGAIN,
COMMON SENSE AND GOOD JUDGMENT
GOES A LONG WAY. THANK YOU, REALLY, I APPRECIATE
THOSE WORDS OF ADVICE AND I HOPE OUR AUDIENCE IS GONNA
TAKE YOUR ADVICE TO HEART. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE
WITH US TODAY ON ACCESS NEWS THANK YOU. I’VE REALLY ENJOYED
MY APPEARANCE AND I APPRECIATE
THE OPPORTUNITY. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT AT THEIR WEBSITE,
CI.AUSTIN.TX.US/POLICE AND AT OUR WEBSITE
ACCESSNEWS.US WHERE YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS, AND SHARE YOUR COMMENTS
AND OPINIONS. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK,
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER. ONE BEAUTIFUL THING
ABOUT AMERICA IS THAT WE, THE PEOPLE,
HAVE POWER. THE MORE WE KNOW THE BETTER
DECISIONS WE CAN MAKE. FOR ACCESS NEWS,
I’M TAMARA, AND THAT’S AUSTIN. THANKS FOR COMING. THANK YOU. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:
DVORAH BEN MOSHE, KEN HURLEY. WITH FUNDING FROM THE JOHN S.
AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION THROUGH THE KNIGHT COMMUNITY
INFORMATION CHALLENGE. SUPPORTED BY: THE AUSTIN
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. FOSTERING PHILANTHROPY
IN AUSTIN FOR 35 YEARS, THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
FOR NOW AND FOREVER. CREATED AND WRITTEN BY:
DVORAH BEN-MOSHE, KEN HURLEY. HOSTED BY:
TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO. INTERPRETER
FOR TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO: JENNIFER STOKER. SEGMENT HOST
FOR “A MORE PERFECT UNION:” DON MILLER. VOICING FOR DON MILLER:
KEN HURLEY. CREW: PRODUCER,
LINDA LITOWSKY. DIRECTOR/EDITOR,
ORLANDO LOPEZ. 3D ANIMATION:
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PHOTOGRAPHERS: EVE GRANICK,
DVORAH BEN-MOSHE. INTERN:
BRANDON “TOJ” MORA. ADDITIONAL INTERPRETERS:
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AND SUBTITLE SERVICES. CIVIC EDUCATION VIDEO
SEGMENTS PROVIDED BY: AMBROSE VIDEO PUBLISHING. SPECIAL THANKS
TO SUSAN MERMIT, LISA WILLIAMS, MARIBEN RAMSEY,
MONICA WILLIAMS, JANICE KLEKAR, PAULA LANGE, JEFF GARVEY. CLAIRE BUGEN, BOBBIE GUERRA,
RUSSELL HARVARD, CYNTHIA FOSS, BILL STOTESBERY,
KATELYN MACK, YITZHAK BEN-MOSHE,
BOBBIE NORD, KENNETH GLADISH. HI I’M TAMARA,
HOST OF ACCESS NEWS. JOIN ME AS I TALK
WITH RENOWNED SCIENTISTS, COMMUNITY ADVOCATES,
POWERFUL BUSINESS LEADERS, AND POLITICIANS FROM
BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. POLICE CHIEF ART ACEVEDO, HE WORKS TO PROVIDE
LAW AND ORDER THAT PROTECTS OUR COMMUNITY. JOIN ME EACH SUNDAY AT 1:00 PM
ON KLRU AUSTIN FOR ACCESS NEWS,
HANDS ON NEWS.

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