This weekend marks one year since Austinites marched en masse in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining protesters in cities across the country—and world.
Spurred by the April 24 police killing of Mike Ramos in Southeast Austin and the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Austin Police Department headquarters on May 30, 2020. Some later shut down I-35. APD officers used so-called "less-lethal" rubber bullets, leaving some protesters with permanent brain damage.
More protests followed, including one organized by the Austin Justice Coalition that saw thousands march from Huston-Tillotson University to the Texas Capitol. In response to the demonstrations and outrage over APD's actions, Austin City Council criticized then-APD Chief Brian Manley and voted unanimously to cut the department's budget.
Protests against police violence and racial injustice in Austin and other cities sparked reform but they also prompted pushback from the state's Republican leadership and coincided with a national increase in violent crime. Although unexplained, this trend has led some to question the utility of "reimagining public safety," as local elected officials have pledged to do.
In the year since, Austin has seen the shooting death of protester Garrett Foster, the resignation of Manley and the historic indictment of APD Officer Christopher Taylor, who was charged with first-degree murder in Ramos' death in March. More recently, City Council approved a pilot class of the APD training academy, which was put on hiatus last July due to curriculum concerns, and state lawmakers sent a law to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk that will, if passed, prohibit police funding cuts in Austin and other large Texas cities.
Criminal justice reform advocates say there is still work to be done. Meanwhile, public safety interest groups argue that the reforms already enacted go too far. As Austin heads into its second year since these protests, one thing is certain: their legacy continues to influence the city's direction.
Austinites protested on May 30, 2020, following the police killings of Mike Ramos in Southeast Austin and George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Protesters first gathered outside of the APD headquarters in downtown Austin.
They later spread out, eventually shutting down I-35.
APD officers used rubber bullets, bean bags and tear gas to disperse protesters.
The police response left many protesters injured, including a pregnant woman, and left a 16-year-old and 20-year-old with permanent brain damage.
The protest spurred others, including one the following weekend that saw thousands march from Huston-Tillotson University to the Texas Capitol.
The series of protests ultimately led to reforms at the local and state levels, some of which are still taking shape.
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Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway