Three murders occurred in Austin this weekend, bringing the total number committed in 2020 to 44.
This marks a more than 40% increase compared to this time last year and at least a 10-year high, Austin Police Department Lieutenant Jeff Greenwalt said Monday.
Despite the "fairly significant" increase, Greenwalt doesn't believe the trend is concerning.
"In comparison to any other large city and any other city our size, we're very, very safe," he explained.
Briefing regarding recent homicides https://t.co/kIRjyTCrPO— Austin Police Department (@Austin Police Department)1604952332.0
Most of the murders that have occurred in Austin this year have been connected to robberies or domestic violence.
"We see all the same types of murders that we've seen in years past," Greenwalt said. "It might be a long endeavor to analyze all of the underlying reasons why this is happening."
In a tweet on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott linked the increase to a recent effort by Austin City Council to "reimagine public safety."
Austin experiences highest number of homicides in 20 years. This is why it is absurd that Austin is defunding poli… https://t.co/GSxmp6Asmx— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott)1604942561.0
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, Austinites turned out in droves to protest police violence. Many also lobbied City Council to cut APD funding and reallocate the dollars toward other services, such as mental health response.
In August, council cut approximately $20 million—or around 5%—of APD's budget. Members also put an additional $130 million into two transitional funds that will allow several of APD's traditional duties to continue while officials work out which responsibilities to move out from under police oversight.
Abbott and other state GOP leaders have been sharply critical of the effort to defund police in Austin and other big Texas cities.
In August, they announced legislation that would hamstring cities' ability to raise property taxes if they cut police budgets will be a priority in the upcoming session, which begins in January. The next month, Abbott tweeted that he was considering a legislative proposal that, if passed, would put APD under state control.
This proposal for the state to takeover the Austin Police Department is one strategy I'm looking at. We can't let… https://t.co/N0ZEUeH384— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott)1599168839.0
Greenwalt disputed the notion that local policy had anything to do with the increase in violent crime.
"We saw a rise in violent crime in the very early months of 2020, before the reimagine and defunding conversations came up," he said. "I don't think that we can say that the numbers in 2020 are reflective of that issue."
But Greenwalt also welcomed state support, explaining that the reallocation of funds could lead to a sustained increase in violent crime next year if certain support services are cut back.
"If we do, I think the Austin Police Department would welcome any outside agency that could help us keep the community safe," he said. "If it reduces violent crime, if it makes Austin a safer place, then it's a good idea."
- Protests over police killings planned for Austin this weekend ... ›
- State GOP leaders threaten legislation to freeze property tax rates ... ›
- Austin has 53 percent more homicides in first seven months ... ›
- 13 arrested in drug trafficking ring targeting UT students - austonia ›
- Travis County sheriff IDs body found at recycling center - austonia ›
- APD reports increase in violent crime amid defunding push - austonia ›
- U.S. Attorney cites defunding for Austin's rising murder rate - austonia ›
- Austin ranks more dangerous than Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth - austonia ›
- 10 important stories Austonia published in 2020 - austonia ›
- 48 Austinites killed in 2020. Here are their names. - austonia ›
- Texas gov: legislative goals are police funding, camping ban - austonia ›
- More January murders occur in 2021 following a peak in 2020 - austonia ›
- Woman who allegedly killed best friend, kidnapped baby stands trial - austonia ›
- Austin police: Violent crime uptick could be 'here to stay' - austonia ›
- Officer, suspect injured in northeast Austin shooting - austonia ›
- Officer, suspect injured in northeast Austin shooting - austonia ›
- North Austin woman shot and killed hours after mass shooting - austonia ›
- Austin murders increase 79% year-over-year in May - austonia ›
- Austin's murder rate spikes the most since 1985 - austonia ›
- Austin's murder rate spikes the most since 1985 - austonia ›
- Austin surpasses a 60-year high with 60th homicide of 2021 - austonia ›
- New study says Austin's murder rate is actually not that bad - austonia ›
After their first two-win week and a two-week hiatus, Austin FC is back at home against Minnesota United as they attempt to up their home win streak to three on Saturday.
The team kicks off at 8 p.m. against the Loons in their first matchup since a 2-0 loss in June, but they're 1-1 against the club after beating Minnesota in May for their first-ever shutout.
Austin maintains a last-place spot in the West but has seen a bit of a late comeback with two wins in their last three matches. Austin's Cecilia Dominguez, who scored a brace for the team in their last match against Real Salt Lake, will look to keep that momentum as the team works for another victory. Meanwhile, the seventh-place Loons will work to keep that last spot in playoff contention as the season nears its end.
Follow along here for updates on the biggest plays of the match.
80' Austin makes first subs
With just over 10 minutes left in regulation ,Austin FC made some late-game subs, swapping Diego Fagundez for Austinite McKinze Gaines and Sebastian Driussi for forward Jon Gallagher. Both have a history of clutch performances for the team: Gaines scored just 10 minutes in to his first match of the game back in September, while Gallagher was Austin's first scorer at Q2 Stadium.
It's looking more like a draw at best for Austin as the time continues to tick down on the match.
61' Djitte loses chance after controversial call
In the 61st minute of a less-cohesive half for Austin, Moussa Djitte found himself alone near the goal with a good chance at making the home team's first goal. But referees had another ideas, making another controversial call on the Senegalese striker.Refs stopped Djitte's menacing drive after Minnesota's Michael Boxall appeared to flop in a run-in with the striker, curbing Djitte's attempt to boos from the crowd. It's Djitte's second foul of the night and the team's ninth foul in the match. Both clubs host a yellow card, with center back Julio Cascante holding the home team's sole warning call. Minnesota's Emmanuel Reynoso holds the away team's yellow after an obvious flop that left him rolling on the ground for minutes, waiting on a call.
Blown whistles for both sides have slowed the match's tempo and left both clubs reeling as Austin looks for its first goal.
At the half: Austin still can't finish
45' still left to play. pic.twitter.com/39J1XnvvOc— Austin FC (@AustinFC) October 17, 2021
With minutes-long shooting sprees and more shots on goal than Minnesota, Austin could easily have the lead in the match. But each crowd-raising attempt has still been slightly skewed as the home team ends the half with nothing on the board.
In just 45 minutes, both Austin and Minnesota have reached the double-digits in scoring attempts, but Minnesota's ability to infiltrate Austin's penalty box has given them the leg up in the match. The Loons have sometimes found themselves nearly alone alarmingly close to goal, and they've capitalized on their chances with a 16thb minute goal by Franco Fragapane.
Austin FC, however, has not. The club has seen close calls from Dominguez and Driussi, headers from Djitte and near-misses from Tomas Pochettino, but missed opportunities and a few strokes of bad luck have left them scoreless. The team will need to shake their age-old scoring issues if they hope to get back into tonight's game.
16' Minnesota nabs 1-0 lead
Austin may have struck first, but Minnesota won the first points on the board as Franco Fragapane got one past keeper Brad Stuver from a close range in the 16th minute to make it 1-0. The Loons tested Stuver just as Austin did Miller, making two anxiety-inducing shots before Fragapane struck gold.
This goalie-vs.-goalie match has already seen three shots on goal from each team and a relatively quiet midfield as each team dukes it out in the box.
11' Austin tests Minnesota first
Austin FC has taken no time to threaten goal. In a three-minute span, the home team has racked up three shots, two of which are on goal, as the ball bounces between Austin attackers but can't quite find the net.
Dominguez strikes first as he looks to find his third goal in three matches in the eights minute, but Minnesota's Tyler Miller fights back with a clutch save. Djitte then tests Miller just seconds later, while Driussi takes a final shot from farther back that just misses the top left corner.
Austin's Fagundez and Pochettino were the playmakers of the three-minute shooting spree, but the club still came out scoreless. Minnesota soon rebounded with a shot of their own that was blocked by keeper Brad Stuver.
This may be Austin FC's most popular lineup— even the crankiest fans are commending the strong starting XI on Twitter. Tonight's starters are the same as in their win against Salt Lake.
New standouts Moussa Djitte and Sebastian Driussi are in alongside double-scorer Cecilio Dominguez up front, while fan favorite Diego Fagundez, Captain Alex Ring and Designated Player Tomas Pochettino take the midfield.
With Matt Besler still out on concussion protocol, Zan Kolmanic, Jhohan Romana and Julio Cascante take the back along with Hector Jimenez, who is in for right back Nick Lima. As (almost) always, Brad Stuver holds it down in goal.
- All brakes, no gas: Austin FC plummets to bottom of the West in 3-0 ... ›
- Austin FC takes home first win at Q2 with 4-1 victory - austonia ›
- Third time not quite the charm for Austin FC in 2-1 loss to LAFC ... ›
- Despite a comeback attempt, Austin FC falls to rivals FC Dallas in 5 ... ›
- Austin FC's Q2 Stadium is the biggest party in Austin - austonia ›
An Austin-based program manager for Apple Maps and one of two leaders for the #AppleToo activist movement said she has been fired after a suspension.
According to the New York Times, Janneke Parrish said she was put on suspension for several days while the company investigated her activities before she was fired by a human resources employee via phone call on Thursday.
Parrish was under investigation for allegedly leaking a recording of an Apple staff meeting to the media, which she said she didn't do.
The report said the company told Parrish, who is 30, that she was being fired for having deleted files off her company-issued phone and computer before handing them in for examination. Parrish said the files she deleted contained her personal and financial information.
Among the files she deleted were the Robinhood app, which she said was to keep Apple from seeing "how much money I lost investing in GameStop," the Pokemon Go app and screenshots of programming bugs she was fixing.
Parrish said she believes Apple was retaliating against her efforts in organizing #AppleToo, a group of employees working to expose the company's "culture of secrecy" that has been "faced disproportionately by our Black, Indigenous, and other colleagues from minoritized racial, gender and historically marginalized groups of people."
Parrish had been publishing weekly accounts of workplace problems that had been shared anonymously with her from other employees, though she did not verify employment on all of them. The accounts she received were in the hundreds, so Parrish said she was hopeful her termination would lead to some justice within the company.
Employees at tech giants have been more outspoken than usual in recent months—with former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen speaking out against her former employer—and Parrish said the company's desire to keep under wraps has eroded trust by discouraging employees to come forward with issues like harassment or wage disparity.
Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock commented on the matter: "We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace. We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters."
Additionally, the email detailing her termination, which was obtained by the New York Times, said Apple had determined that Parrish "engaged in conduct in violation of Apple policies including, but not limited to, interfering with an investigation by deleting files on your company provided equipment after being specifically instructed not to do so."
- Thousands of Austin's tech workers will soon be back in the office ›
- The Oprah Conversation has Emmanuel Acho's 'uncomfortable ... ›
- Apple shipping iphones from Austin domain northside store - austonia ›
- See Austin's new Apple campus under construction - austonia ›