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Austinites gather at Huston-Tillotson University for a candle light vigil held by AJC. (Christa McWhirter/Austonia)

On a gloomy Thursday evening, Austin Justice Coalition hosted a vigil to honor the lives of those killed by law enforcement. The event came just two days after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter for the death of George Floyd last May and on the eve of the one year anniversary of Mike Ramos' death.

Both names were catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement that sparked nationwide protests. More recently other police killings—Alex Gonzales in Austin, Adam Toledo in Chicago and Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota—have made news. The vigil brought people together to remember all lives lost at the hands of police.

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Brenda Ramos visits the gravesite of her son Mike Ramos who was killed by Austin police. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Brenda Ramos often visits Assumption Cemetery, just off the I-35 frontage road in South Austin, near Ben White Boulevard.

Her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins are buried there. So is her son, Mike Ramos, who died on April 24, 2020, after being shot by an Austin police officer at a nearby apartment complex.

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Austin Police confront a crowd at the May 30, 2020, protest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Michael Ramos in Austin. (Jana Birchum)

After weeks of protests in the spring of 2020, anti-policing activist sold the Austin City Council on the idea that the police department was bloated and far too unaccountable. The council voted in August 2020 to launch policy reforms, transfer certain units to independent control, trim the police budget by about 5 percent, and reinvest the savings in social services.

However, according to a first-quarter financial report, spending on policing actually increased in the first three months after the new budget took effect October 1, 2020, from $111.97 million in 2019 to $112.2 million in 2020. While that's not much of an increase, it's quite a bit off from the 5 percent cut that should be in effect, and it's a far cry from the even deeper cuts that activists had hoped for.

Read the full story on The Austin Bulldog.

(Vic Hinterlang/Shutterstock)

Protesters blocked I-35 in weeks of summer protests.

A majority of the charges related to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer will be dropped.

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