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Austin Police Chief Brian Manley held a press conference with members of JUST America. (KVUE)

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley went on the offensive in a press conference today as City Council members discussed a slate of sweeping changes to the Austin Police Department's budget and policy, and hundreds waited to speak to the council on those items.


Manley announced that his department will be adopting new policies in response to widespread protests over police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd and Mike Ramos.

The press conference was held at the Boys and Girls Club of Austin in collaboration with JUST America, a new organization that says it is "[c]hanging the narrative of minorities in America."

According to a statement, JUST America presented Manley with four policy changes that could help make Austin a leader in police reform.

The policies Manley pledged to adopt are as follows:

  • Restraints or holds of the neck by a person, object or device are banned. Violators will be referred to the department's discipline process.
  • Officers are forbidden from intentionally deactivating their body cameras during a critical incident. Violators will be subjected to indefinite suspension.
    • Any investigation that reveals an officer intentionally tampered with body cameras will be referred to the appropriate district attorney for review.
  • APD must inform Austin City Council and the public via APD's website within 24 hours of policing policy changes or amendments to APD's General Orders.

The leaders of the organization—Eric Brown, Michael Burnet, Ahmed Toure and Nichelle Payne—spoke alongside Manley at the press conference.

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