Austin voters approve proposition expanding police oversight
The Austin Police Association plans to take action against the city’s enforcement of “the illegal provisions”
By Bill Carey
AUSTIN, Texas — Voters in Austin overwhelmingly approved a proposition that will expand civilian oversight of the police department in several ways, including access to all police records.
Proposition A was approved by 70% of voters, per unofficial voting numbers, the Austin Chronicle reported. Proposition B, which sought to reduce oversight powers, received support from only 20% of voters.
“It’s a really big victory. There’s a strong mandate for improving police oversight and transparency in the city,” said Equity Action Board president Chris Harris.
Harris said now that Proposition A passed, the city can implement those changes on its own. There are other parts of the proposition that do not align with current state law, such as expanding the amount of time an officer can be investigated and disciplined, KXAN reported.
“Some people may have heard of something called the 180-day rule. That’s in state law. It says after six months for most incidents, officers cannot be disciplined any longer,” Harris said. “We know that there’s a good number of incidents where the clock simply runs out. It’s not that misconduct didn’t occur, it’s that a complaint didn’t come in quick enough.”
In a social media post, the Austin Police Association wrote it will take immediate action to determine the city’s intentions with enforcing, “the illegal provisions.”