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5817 Wilcab Road

Austin, TX 78721
Office: 512-474-6993
Fax: 512-474-6996

April 20, 2020


In response to today’s press conference by Councilmembers Harper-Madison, Garza, Casar and

Flannigan, I felt it necessary to respond to some of their statements. I want to start by saying
that I am proud of the APA Board of Directors who took an extremely difficult position to
publicly ask for an independent investigation into the Chief of Police, City Management, and
City Legal due to serious concerns brought to their attention. Our members are proud of their
excellence in service to our diverse community, while also striving to improve our relationships
each and every day.

First and foremost, it is disingenuous for Councilmember Harper-Madison to try and take
credit for the investigation taking place while at the same time, attacking the credibility of APA
leadership. On November 25, the Austin Police Association along with our sister organizations
Amigos En Azul, the Austin Police Women’s Association, LGPOA, and TPOA stood together
and demanded this independent investigation at a joint press conference. It was not until those
who advocate on behalf of the working women and men of the police department took such
action that we saw the Council act on the issue.

Second, it is paramount that those who could have acted and failed to do so are held
accountable. We should not allow politics to drive this conversation and we should remind
ourselves that all the APA leadership did was let a dues paying member know that the media
was asking the APA questions about an issue that the Chief of Police had known about for
weeks. The media was asking questions about information that the APA had not been privy to
prior to these calls. The APA was not included in the anonymous emails and had no idea that
Chief Newsom had already told Chief Manley that he would retire if the allegations or text
messages they spoke of became public.

The APA would be remiss if we didn’t also remind everyone that the OPO was also advised of
these issues and failed to act. On 4-10-20, Katie Hall with the Statesman published an article
that quoted OPO second in charge Mia Demers as saying “There’s no benefit to an oversight
office if you’re unable to share that information with the public.” I have to say that I agree with
Demers that there is no benefit to an oversight office, particularly the Austin Office of Police
Oversight, if they are willing to sit idle when allegations of such a magnitude are made.

I also want to discuss statements made by Councilmembers regarding the “180-day rule”. This
rule comes from State Civil Service law. It was put into place as a safeguard against overly
harsh department heads who may seek to look back to fish for a reason to silence an officer
through discipline. To allege that nothing could happen to former Asst Chief Newsom
completely disregards the fact that Chief Manley could have demoted Newsom at any point he
wanted to. In fact, this can be done without cause.

The conversation regarding whether or not APA President Casaday can or should be punished
for having a conversation with a dues paying member is laughable. It is asinine that our sitting
5817 Wilcab Road
Austin, TX 78721
Office: 512-474-6993
Fax: 512-474-6996

April 20, 2020

Councilmembers seem more interested in trying to punish an association leader than holding
the Chief accountable for his failure to act.

Further, if the department wished to investigate APA President Casaday, we are still within the
180-day period to suspend him for his conversation with then Asst Chief Newsom. We do
however, struggle to find a relevant general order that prohibits conversations between an
association member and the association president.

Lastly, a discussion about police cadet hiring is necessary. The independent investigation did
not substantiate any allegations of racial discrimination or misconduct associated to the
recruiting, hiring, or training of our officers. There is nothing in the report to substantiate the
need for a knee-jerk, politically motivated decision to cancel or delay the hiring of new
employees into the Austin Police Department. It is important for our Department to continue
its recruitment, hiring, and training plan in order to provide well-trained officers to serve our
community. Trying to gain some type of political point at the expense of the community’s
public safety is outrageous.

The Austin Police Association recognizes the independent investigator’s report identified
several areas of concern and items for improvement. The APA pledges to work with the
Department, City, and Community to make positive changes to benefit our community, our
members, their families and overall public safety.