Austin Mayor Steve Adler is doing something bold in the face of growing pressure to police with more fairness: He’s announced an anti-racism task force that will look at structural, institutional racism and make recommendations for policy changes.
“Violent incidents involving our police officers and communities of color are – and should be – disturbing, but it became obvious when we committed to addressing them that this was a bigger problem than just how law enforcement interacts with African Americans,” Adler said in an advisory from the mayor’s office. “To deal with racism in Austin, we need to acknowledge that institutional racism exists in Austin, have an honest community conversation about what we can do to root it out, and then commit ourselves to actually do what it takes to make sure all Austinites have an opportunity to thrive.”
“It does not mean that we are racist here in Austin or that we have a racist society, but what it does mean is that we have structures in place that create unjust and inequitable outcomes,” he added in remarks to reporters, published by KXAN.
The task force will include departing Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. For the full list of names, check out the Statesman‘s post.