After a Kentucky grand jury ruled not to charge two of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, protesters across the country took to the streets, including at the Texas Capitol and Austin City Hall to stand against the decision.
The protest, titled "Justice for Breonna Taylor—Solidarity with Louisville," started at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The protest was not organized by a specific group or person, though groups like the Mike Ramos Brigade, a local anti-police organization with ties to antifa, and Back the Blue, a pro-police organization, were present.
Protester Ellie A., who was not affiliated with any group, said she was there to protest for what matters.
"Black lives matter," Ellie said. "That is not apparent from the things that happen in our world."
Shortly after the protest began, a group of protesters attacked Hiram Garcia, an independent streamer who often films protests and "history in the making," by shoving Garcia and his camera to the floor. Some protesters yelled and suggested he leave the protest.
A fight has broken out against Hiram Garcia, an independent streamer. Protesters became physical and tried to knock… https://t.co/MSCmkMy0Ay— Laura Figi (@Laura Figi)1600908523.0
Garcia, who streams on Facebook Live, said he has been attending protests since May 30 and said people are quick to recognize him.
"They just don't want me here, that's it," Garcia said. "The problem is I'm an unbiased host."
Protest attendee, who goes by the name Shera, has been protesting for racial justice since May and said she has faced dangerous situations, such as being pepper sprayed. Shera said Garcia was generally accepted at first, but while he elects to remain neutral, he has gained a right-wing audience he has yet to denounce.
"(Garcia has) talked to the cops in a way that a lot of the protesters don't like, or just giving them airtime (on the livestream) and loving them—pretty much speaking propaganda," Shera said. "It's okay if they don't want him here but getting physical like that … is just completely uncalled for."
About 45 minutes into the protest, protesters took to West Cesar Chavez Street and blocked traffic. Shortly after, they were followed by multiple police cars, who ordered them to clear out the roads under threat of arrest.
Groups of protesters continued to march through the streets, as several people were arrested. One protester was arrested on 3rd Street and San Jacinto, seen being patted down with zip-tied wrists.
Here on 2nd Street and San Jacinto, a protester is being arrested. An officer said she was being arrested for “thro… https://t.co/xKcMdeYi60— Laura Figi (@Laura Figi)1600910873.0
Several protesters were arrested for class B and C misdemeanors, according to the Austin Police Department.
Shera said the protests were meant to show solidarity with Louisville and Breonna Taylor, and the ruling was disappointing.
"We are not done," Shera said. "We are still waiting for a lot of justice to be served for the police that have hurt all of the protesters that are out here."
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Republic Square Park has turned into a Ford-themed fiesta for its Built to Connect pop-up experience, complete with test drives, off-roading and an inside look at the Tesla-rivaling electric vehicles that the motor vehicle company is planning to integrate over the next decade.
The outdoor driving event is free, open to the public and will stay in the park from now until Oct. 24, offering rides on Bronco Mountain, a 0-40 mph zip in the 2022 all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and a chance to win an original Ford Bronco.
The event kicked off with a panel of speakers, including Austin Director of Transportation Rob Spillar, Ford General Manager Darren Palmer and engineering specialists discussing Ford's goals to make it so that 50% of the vehicles on the road are electric by 2030.
As an eco-conscious city, Spillar said that around 4,000 vehicles, or 22% of the Texas electric vehicle market, as well as over 15,000 plugins lie in Austin, meaning driving electric just got accessible.
"Austin, as you know, is a fast-growing modern city that is committed to protecting the long term health and viability of our communities and strategies that reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the drone quality of life here in Central Texas for all of our residents," Spillar said.
And Ford's electric vehicles are putting up some steep competition for newly-Austin-based company Tesla. The new electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lighting offer amenities that used to be exclusive to Musk's brand, such as the BlueCruise self-driving network. The cars also boast a 300-mile range on a single charge, assisted reverse technology and access to the biggest charging network outside of the home.
Plus, Ford's got affordability on its side. The F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 and the Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,895, while the cheapest Tesla model, the Model 3, starts at $41,990 and averages 262 miles on a single charge.
Speaking of price, the numbers on the electric vehicles may look like a little more than you'd like to pay for your transport, but Palmer promises it will pay off. In addition to a $7,500 tax credit you can earn for your sustainability, you'll never have to buy a pricey tank of gas again.
"Personally, I have not found one customer ever, who would go back to gas so that says something," Palmer said. "I realized, at $51,000, that car outruns every childhood hero car I ever had."
Texas buyers: take note. The Ford Lightning can power your house for three to 10 days, just in case the statewide power grid fails. You can take it glamping with you, so you don't have to leave the comfort of modern life behind, and in a pinch, Palmer said he's even seen a wedding party powered by the truck.
Ford is investing $30 billion into the U.S. market to meet demand by 2025 and the new electric truck already has over 150,000 reservations.
"I think they're going to take off much faster than you expect—they're going to be extremely, extremely popular next year," Palmer said. "With the incentives that are available today, this is starting to become more mainstream and viable for more and more families. We couldn't have done that before, we didn't have the technology, or the technology at that price."
The event is ongoing through next weekend from 12-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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The Austin Police Department is searching for a man who is believed to be behind a series of robberies that is "sexual in nature and is escalating."
Three robbery cases that took place in North Austin within a 30-day period are being investigated by police, who report the victims all had similar descriptions for suspects in the case. The suspect is described as a 20-25-year-old Spanish-speaking Hispanic man, approximately 5'3, thin build, recently shaved with black hair. Police say he is known to typically wear athletic clothing and used a knife on each of the victims.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police cautioned the public to walk without earbuds, stay alert and report suspicious activity to the police.
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