El 22 de febrero de 2020, la Oficina de Fiscalización de la Policía, la Oficina de Innovación y la Oficina de Equidad realizaron un evento para escuchar y recopilar los comentarios de la comunidad sobre los hallazgos del "Reporte conjunto: Análisis de los datos de uso de perfil racial de APD". Este PDF incluye un memorándum con un resumen de alto nivel de los comentarios de la comunidad en el evento y recomendaciones para la acción y próximos pasos a seguir, así como el reporte completo de los comentarios de la comunidad.
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TO: Spencer Cronk, City Manager
FROM: Farah Muscadin, Director, Office of Police Oversight; Kerry O’Connor, Chief
Innovation Officer; Brion Oaks, Chief Equity Officer
DATE: April 2, 2020
SUBJECT: Community Feedback - Community Conversation: Race and Policing in Austin
On February 22, 2020, the Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation, and Equity Office
hosted a community event, Community Conversation: Race and Policing in Austin. The
purpose of the event was to gather community input regarding the findings of the January 2020
Joint Report: Analysis of APD’s Racial Profiling Data.
• 56 community members, 20 city staff, and 10 APD officers met to discuss the racial
disparities in APD motor vehicle stop data from 2015-2018 and the ways in which the
City of Austin can move toward equitable outcomes in policing.
• The event began with a panel in which the three authors of the report and Chief Manley
provided an overview of the data in the Joint Report in a question and answer format.
Following the panel, attendees were divided into five small groups for a facilitated
discussion. Each group included a facilitator, notetaker, and representation from
community and APD.
• Community members shared their lived experiences with policing in Austin, their
perspectives on the data and trends, and their ideas for what accountability should look
like moving forward.
This memo contains a high-level summary of the community feedback1 collected at the event, as
well as recommendations from the authors for action and next steps. A full Community
Feedback Report is attached.
Attendees shared that in general, they were not surprised by the disparities outlined in the Joint
Report because the quantitative findings aligned with their feelings and personal experiences
with policing in Austin. However, many community members were surprised, discouraged, and
saddened by the widening disparity trend from 2015-2018. Attendees highlighted the strengths of
the Joint Report and asked for additional data analysis with regard to the reasons for the motor
vehicle stops outlined in the report, the location of the stops, the result of the stops, and
additional demographic information about those stopped (including age and gender).
1 The compiled list of community feedback collected at the event is viewable here:
The topic of accountability motivated many to attend this event and is what community members
would like to discuss at follow-up meetings. The community indicated that they would like
accountability addressed in several ways:
• Acknowledgement: Many attendees shared that the first step towards accountability is
unequivocal acknowledgement of the problem. The following were among the direct
feedback provided by the community regarding acknowledgement:
• “Why is it hard for the police to accept they have a problem and work to solve
• “APD needs to acknowledge instead of getting defensive”
• “Did not hear acknowledgement from Chief Manley”
• “It felt like Chief Manley invalidated [the] report, especially when he said more
arrests in certain areas are because [there is] more crime in that part of town”
• “Chief Manley has not said 0% disparity is a priority. Real commitment is needed
for real change. Action and behavior come from the top”
• Commitment and Action: Community members expressed that they did not feel a sense
of urgency from APD to make a change, and that transformative action is required for
accountability. Attendees emphasized the need for City leaders to act with urgency. Some
individuals asked for a City Council resolution demonstrating City commitment to the
zero-disparity goal outlined in the Joint Report. Others asked for specific next steps for
implementation of the recommendations in the report.
• “Change needs to occur today, not when more data is collected.”
• “What is the process to reach [the] zero disparity goal?”
• Structural Change and Community Decision Making: Community members want to
hear more about how accountability will be upheld, acknowledging that it is difficult for
people internally to hold themselves accountable. Specifically, attendees emphasized the
need for increased community involvement in decision making, implementing concrete
ways to be involved with changing APD policy, investment in a citizen’s panel, and
implementation of “community scorecards” to evaluate individual officers.
• APD Organizational Structure: Attendees suggested that organizational accountability
starts at the top with leadership and must include holding individual officers accountable
for their actions. Some community members expressed the importance of having a
system to flag and monitor at-risk officers using a strike or intervention system with real
consequences for officers with regards to pay, promotions, permanent record, and
• Budget: Some community members stated there should be economic consequences and a
reduced budget if APD does not take steps to address the issue of racial disparity in
policing and comply with the recommendations outlined in the Joint Report. One person
• “There should be economic consequences if APD does not do the right thing.”
• Increased Transparency: Community members made it clear that they expect
transparency from APD as well as the Office of Police Oversight and the City of Austin.
Community members also provided input on training processes, the impact of police mental
health on the community, the importance of community involvement in decision making, and the
need to prioritize the expertise of those with lived experience. Finally, we heard a clear ask for
actionable next steps for implementation and accountability.
One community member asked: “How will what was shared here impact next steps?”
With this question in mind, the Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation, and Equity
Office recommend the following:
• APD to provide a written response to the community questions gathered at the
Community Conversation event and share the answers publicly. The list of questions is
attached. The authors of the Joint Report will also provide a written response to questions
addressed to them.
• APD leadership to provide a public, unequivocal, and unconditional statement of
acknowledgement regarding the racial disparities in outcomes of policing in Austin. In
addition, APD should provide a set of goals and priorities for making the changes needed
to address disparities. As stated in the Joint Report, the Office of Police Oversight, Office
of Innovation, and Equity Office view commitment to zero racial disparity in motor
vehicle stops, arrests, searches, field observations, warnings, and citations as essential.
• APD to prioritize the adoption of the recommendations outlined in the Joint Report that
most closely align with community feedback:
• Acknowledgement (recommendations 1-3)
• 1. Acknowledge that racial disparity exists and is worsening.
• 2. Acknowledge that the methodology previously used omitted the context
of proportionality and therefore was an incomplete analysis. This resulted
in a perception that a trend of disparity did not exist.
• 3. Acknowledge that race plays a major role in who we stop, search, and
for whom we use discretion favorably.
• Next Steps (recommendations 8-11)
• 8. Explore promising practices from Oakland and Nashville that use a
scoring mechanism for disproportional behavior to identify at-risk
officers and assign appropriate interventions and use in the determination
• 9. Include implicit bias testing in the Austin Police Department hiring
• 10. For current employees, require implicit bias testing and flag high-
scoring officers for appropriate intervention.
• 11. Identify and implement bias-countering policies, practices, methods,
processes, and standard operating procedures to mitigate bias.
• Training (recommendations 12-14)
• 12. Include the comprehensive Racial History of Policing curriculum in
the cadet training academy and adapt it into required training for existing
officers, at all ranks, annually.
• 13. Follow the guidelines for racial equity training established by the
Equity Office. The Equity Office and Office of Police Oversight shall be
consulted for final selection of official racial equity training for officers at
• 14. Develop a method to provide racial equity training on an ongoing basis
(a minimum of 40 hours per year) for all staff, sworn and civilian, in the
department, annually, during every year of service.
• APD to proactively conduct intentional community engagement throughout the process
of adopting the above recommendations, including creating opportunities for officers to
engage with the community out of uniform.
• The Office of Police Oversight to monitor APD’s implementation of the above
cc: Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, Deputy City Manager
Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager
Brian Manley, Chief of Police
Community Conversation Series: Part 1
Community Feedback Report
The Office of Police Oversight
The Equity Office
The Office of Innovation
Introduction: Motivations and Feelings
Next Steps/ Moving Forward
56 community members, 20 city staff, 10 APD officers
Attendees were asked to share
Motivation for attending the event
How do you feel about what you have learned about the report so
far? What came up for you reading the data or listening to the panel?
What surprised you about the report? What didn’t surprise you?
What does accountability look like for you on the issue of racial
profiling and racial inequity in policing? What would constitute
What would you like to see discussed at the next meeting?
In collaboration, the Office of Police Oversight, the Office of
Innovation, and the Equity Office conducted a data synthesis of
community feedback from the event .
Data Synthesis:A process of combining separate elements or
components to form a new whole connected by the shared
qualities between parts.
Translating Data Synthesis to a Report
People expressed interest in this community
dialogue and the importance of bringing
community voices to the table.
Attendees came from different backgrounds and had numerous
motivations for attending the event, including wanting to learn
more about the report, being directly impacted, listening to new
perspectives, having personal experiences with APD, possessing
desire to contribute to change, and feeling like this was a necessary
The most common stated motivations for attending were lived
experience and passion for social change.City and APD
employees also contributed to the discussion.
People highlighted the strengths of the racial
profiling depth and analysis
Specifically, community members said that this report is a step
above past reports due to:
▪ The depth of the data
▪ Detailed sources
▪ Tangible recommendations
▪ Collaboration between departments
▪ Attention to specific data sets
High v Low discretion searches
We also heard that it is a community priority that reports are
translated in Spanish and include history/context.
In general, we heard that attendees were not surprised by the report’s:
"I am not surprised by the outcomes. A big contribution of this
report is field observations to show black and brown communities
and disparity in neighborhood locations.”
People felt discouraged, fearful, and saddened by
While not surprised by the disparities, many attendees stated that
they were surprised and discouraged by the disparity trend 2015-
People had questions and concerns about the
We heard questions around the accuracy of the race known
analysis and how it is determined. The question was posed: “Why
are there still disparities when police officers reported not
Other community members had concerns about the
racial/ethnic data groups in the report. We heard questions
about whether the racial/ ethnic groups on the report accurately
reflected the race/ethnicity of the individuals being stopped
We also heard thoughts about the impact methods of policing
may have on the patterns in the data. For example, one attendee
pointed out that if more officers are patrolling certain areas, that
may contribute to a feedback loop in which those areas have
higher crime or arrest numbers.
Some people called for additional analysis and
We heard a call for more analysis and data collection in the
Location/geography of stops
Race of officer
Age of driver
Gender of person stopped/arrested
Result of stops
Reason for stops
People expressed a sense of fear, lack of safety, or
lack of trust within community for police
In addition to feeling unsafe, some community members also
expressed a sense of disconnect from APD
Individuals stated that police should be providing a sense of safety,
but at this moment this security was not felt.
Many community members said that police actions/
outcomes are symptoms of racism
Community members described how experiences with Austin Police
Department is different for communities of color and this effects the
way they talk about police interaction from a young age.
The topic of accountability motivated people to attend
the Community Conversation event and is what people
want to discuss at a follow-up meeting.
We heard that people want accountability addressed:
Commitment and Action
Structural Change and Community Decision Making
APD Organization Structure
“Why is it hard for the police to accept they have a problem and
work to solve it?”
“APD needs to acknowledge instead of getting defensive”
Feedback to Chief Manley's response during the panel:
“Did not hear acknowledgement from Chief Manley”
“It felt like Chief Manley invalidated [the] report, especially
when he said more arrests in certain areas are because [there is]
more crime in that part of town”
“Chief Manley has not said 0% disparity is a priority. Real
commitment is needed for real change. Action and behavior
come from the top”
Several participants were upset by a comment Chief Manley
provided regarding the cost-benefit analysis of officer time spent in
training vs officer time spent patrolling. Six separate comments
were recorded in regard to this particular point. One attendee
asked, “Why is APD valuing hours of police on the streets over
making policing practices less discriminatory?”
Others saw the Chief’s response to implementing the training
outlined in the recommendation as comparing loss of officer hours
on patrol and loss of potential life as the result of lack of training.
“Concerned about loss of hours vs loss of life as a result of non-
“Frustrated by asking community if life or money is more
“Bothered by question about if loss of life is important”
Commitment and Action
Regarding APD’s response to the report, community members
expressed that they did not feel a sense of urgency to make a
change, but that transformation needs to happen now.
"Change needs to occur today, not when more data
Commitment to zero disparity-would require transformative
Community wondered how to pursue this commitment from the
City and APD
Proposed City Council resolution
We heard that people want to see next steps for implementation
and how APD will be held accountable
Attendees emphasized the need to demonstrate urgency to City
Structural Change and Community Decision Making
Community members want to hear more about how accountability
will be upheld, acknowledging that it is difficult for people internally to
hold themselves accountable. They offer that accountability is a
Involving community in decision-making
Implementing “community scorecards”
Investing in an APD oversight committee or “citizen panel”
Attendees highlighted the need for continued community pressure
People asked for concrete ways to be involved with changing APD
APD Organization Structure
Attendees suggested that organizational accountability starts at
the top with leadership and must include holding individual
officers accountable for actions.
We heard a call for specific attention to recognizing biasand
problem officers. In particular, community members expressed
there should be a focus on the academy, including recognizing the
young officers that have no experience working with communities
or individuals of color.
Some community members expressed the importance of having a
system to flag and monitor at-risk officers using a strike system
or interventions to create real consequencesfor officers.
Specifically, individuals stated there should be economic
consequences and a reduced budget if APD does not take steps to
address the issue or comply with the recommendations in the
One community member stated, "There should be economic
consequences if APD does not do the right thing."
Community members made it clear that they expect transparency
from APD as well as the Office of Police Oversight and the City.
Request for the public availability of APD data and metrics as well
as the raw data used to create the Racial Profiling report.
One person stated that this data should be available freely,
without a community member having to request a PIR.
Another attendee highlighted the need for transparency of
complaints that have been filed with the Office of Police
Community members referenced active vs passive training and
the importance of more than just showing up.
"If you don't have accountability after training, it's a waste of
Other community members questioned whether the training
measurements and tests were created with implicit bias.
People expressed a need to take a systems-level
approach to address these issues and examine the
role of policing in society and the methods
employed by the police department.
“It is time to discuss investigating stops as a policing mode. It’s
sort of the stop and frisk for people who don’t walk. Looking at
other models is also a piece of this.” One attendee expressed that
to them, accountability means re-defining policing. Another said that
it means asking deeper questions of how we police. Another
expressed that we should “address institutionalized racism with
wholistic care.” Others pointed out that in some cases, unjust or
inequitable laws are at the root of the problem.
Some participants expressed concerns about
police mental health and its outcomes in the
community and recommended that it be
Potential link between officer mental health and harm to
community in the form of increased bias and/or escalation.
Others did not want mental health to be used as an excuse
or explanation for disparities, and felt that police themselves
should advocate for mental health resources within APD.
People expressed that APD should identify and
address bias and participate in spaces for healing
internally and with community.
For some participants, this means undertaking a race equity
journey, addressing trauma, developing trust with the
community, and/or taking part in healing circles.
Bringing Community Voices to the Table
Attendees asked for follow-up with those who attend meetings, as well as
“increased efforts to hear from the community and the
personal stories of those who are a victim of this issue and
how it impacts quality of life.” Attendees highlighted the
importance of including lived experience in this conversation as well as
bringing in those with lived experience to create solutions.
“Listen to voices of community and people with lived experience”
“Acknowledge expertise of people with lived experience”
“Urge the City to have conversation with those impacted”
One participant encouraged the City to have conversations with people
currently in jail to diversify the perspectives considered. Another shared
that fact that those with felonies cannot participate in the new
Community-Police Review Commission takes directly impacted people out
of the conversation.
In addition to feedback, community members
also asked questions regarding the following:
Next Steps/ Moving Forward
The Office of Police Oversight, the Office of Innovation,
and the Equity Office developed the following
APD to provide a written response to the community questions
gathered at the Community Conversation event and share the
APD leadership to provide a public, unequivocal, and unconditional
statement of acknowledgement regarding the racial disparities in
outcomes of policing in Austin.
Provide a set of goals and priorities for making the changes needed to
APD to prioritize the adoption of the recommendations outlined in
the Joint Report that most closely align with community feedback:
Acknowledgement (recommendations 1-3)
1. Acknowledge that racial disparity exists and is worsening.
2. Acknowledge that the methodology previously used omitted the context
of proportionality and therefore was an incomplete analysis. This resulted in
a perception that a trend of disparity did not exist.
3. Acknowledge that race plays a major role in who we stop, search, and for
whom we use discretion favorably.
Next Steps (recommendations 8-11)
8. Explore promising practices from Oakland and Nashville that use a
scoring mechanism for disproportional behavior to identify at-risk officers and
assign appropriate interventions and use in the determination of promotions.
9. Include implicit bias testing in the Austin Police Department hiring process.
10. For current employees, require implicit bias testing and flag high-scoring
officers for appropriate intervention.
11. Identify and implement bias-countering policies, practices, methods, processes,
and standard operating procedures to mitigate bias.
Training (recommendations 12-14)
12. Include the comprehensive Racial History of Policing curriculum in the cadet
training academy and adapt it into required training for existing officers, at all
13. Follow the guidelines for racial equity training established by the Equity Office.
The Equity Office and Office of Police Oversight shall be consulted for final selection
of official racial equity training for officers at all ranks.
14. Develop a method to provide racial equity training on an ongoing basis (a
minimum of 40 hours per year) for all staff, sworn and civilian, in the department,
annually, during every year of service.
APD to proactively conduct intentional community engagement
throughout the process of adopting the above recommendations, including
creating opportunities for officers to engage with the community out of
The Office of Police Oversight to monitor APD’s implementation of the
For more information or questions regarding this report, contact the
Office of Police Oversight:
Community Conversation Series: Race and Policing in Austin
Questions For APD
• While search and arrest rates seem driven by racial bias, disparities in stops, given that
they persist when officers report known AND not knowing the race of the driver before
the stop, seem primarily driven by where police are patrolling most. What police are
instructed to prioritize-- motor vehicle stops. Is the police department considering
changes to policing practices and priorities?
• APD is about to report 2019 RP data to the state. Will the new report to council replicate
the method used so we can see how the trend is going? Has APD addressed 2018 data
problems related to use of force at traffic stops?
• When arrests of students of color made, where is that data going?
• What exactly is APD doing to eliminate disparities? Please provide specifics, not just
generalizations that are abstract.
• Is [Chief Manley] willing to take the job of 0 disparities by 2023 and work with the city
to get there?
• What is APD doing to identify and talk about biases with officers?
• What system is in place for handling police officers who are a problem?
• What metrics determine whether officers/hires are deemed to have unsafe biases that
could negatively affect community members?
• What is the process for identifying and intervening with an at-risk officer?
• What metrics determine whether an officer/hire is of sound mind?
• Method of policing- why is patrol a priority?
• How have the policies changed based on training?
• How are hot spots defined? Is it by calls? Are they initiated by being in certain zip codes?
• Was there community input on the person hired to do equity training and on that role?
• Do supervisors have real time access to data of officers?
• Are police officers assigned to a certain area?
• What happens when officers who normally patrol one area go to another area?
• What are the recommendations from the OPO that APD is NOT planning to act on?
• When will NIBR- coded incident data be available on the city's open data poral?
• What has APD agreed to do from the recommendations? How will they be held
accountable moving forward?
• How can there be improvements in the "discretion" allowance when it comes to racial
Questions For the Authors of the Report
• What is the process to reach zero disparity goal?
• Part 1: What accounts for the decrease of stops in each population in 2018, after prior
years of increase?
o Part 2: Do you have a sense if this downward trend has continued in 2019?
o Part 3: Why don't charts show ""arrest"" data?
• Were Dr. Alex Del Carmen's racial profiling audits (since 2016) used in report analysis?
• How are each of your organizations working to get comparable data from DPS and other
agencies making stops within the city?
• Where were stops made? Are they evenly distributed throughout the city?
• Why are there still disparities when police officers reported not knowing the race?
• What are the socioeconomic factors that are not being taken into account? More
benchmarks can be used (ex stops at day or night)
• Does age affect motor vehicle stops?
• Do we know the reasons for the stops?
• Wonder how accountability is built into the implementation of the recommendations of
this report especially to reduce racial disparities in 2020?
• There's a difference between community input and community decision-making. How do
you plan to bring in community decision making?
• What does true accountability look like? If APD does not reduce these disparities, what
are the consequences?
• Why is the City making recommendations and conclusions based on racial profiling when
the data reflects the role of racial profiling or bias in traffic stops? (95% of stops occur
without race/ ethnicity being known)
• If the APD fails to adequately reform itself, can stronger steps be taken, beyond
recommendations? What, if any, are there?
• Is the City on board for zero disparity by 2023?
• When did APD get the report?
• "Do you have any data on difference in statistics before and after Freedom Cities began
to take effect?
• In response to Chief Manley talking about training and time: You can that time back by
not pulling over people needlessly/based on discrimination.
• Chief Manley, did you read through the recommendations? The problem is not getting
more data. With the data we already have, disparity has increased since 2015. The
disparity is a symptom of officers' discretion.
• "Como trabajan los dectectives en nuestra area? de crimes violentos mi hijo fue
• Why wasn't APD response memo released with the report? What did it say?
• How do West Austinites feel about the report?
• If I complain about the police, do I have to receive a case number as well as copy?
• Black and LatinX Austinites have the lowest average income and wealth levels. Wouldn't
replacing arrests with action exacerbate those racialized economic inequalities like in
Ferguson, Missouri? What other options are there?