Protests

The scene of a shooting in downtown Austin on July 25.
Mose Buchele / KUT

An Army sergeant driving for a ride-hailing company shot Garrett Foster "to protect his own life," the law firm representing the man said in a press release.

A mural on La Mexicana in South Austin commemorates Mike Ramos, who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer in April.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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As a kid, Mike Ramos used to walk to get pastries for his grandmother every week from La Mexicana, the panaderia that's been a mainstay on South First Street for 30 years. Just a block away from where he and his mother Brenda Ramos lived on Annie Street, the bakery's south wall now bears two murals commemorating Mike, who was shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor in April.

University of Texas law professor Jennifer Laurin
Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin police say they're still gathering witness statements and video from a deadly shooting downtown Saturday night. Garrett Foster was marching in a Black Lives Matter protest when he was shot to death

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr puts the founding principles of the Justice Department "more at risk than at any time in modern history," the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee charged on Tuesday.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., excoriated Barr because he said the attorney general sought conflict with Americans at an unprecedented scale, including via federal law enforcement crackdowns, and has created what Nadler called a special reserve of justice for the well-connected.

Screenshot from APD video via YouTube

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Video footage released Monday of the shooting of Mike Ramos shows the 42-year-old pleading with Austin police officers to put their guns down, telling them he doesn't have a weapon and that they are scaring him.

APD Officer Christopher Taylor shot and killed Ramos, who was Black and Hispanic, in late April.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Both people who opened fire during an incident that led to the death of a man at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Austin on Saturday night have been released after questioning. The shooters reported themselves to police, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley. 

The scene of a shooting Saturday night in downtown Austin, near the corner of Fourth and Congress.
Mose Buchele / KUT

A man shot during a protest in downtown Austin has died at an Austin hospital from his injuries, police say.

A Facebook Live video showed protesters marching up Congress Avenue on Saturday night. A group bunched together at the corner of Fourth Street and Congress when several gunshots rang out.

Talib Abdullahi created a Black history social bike ride through Austin.
Tamir Kalifa

When Talib Abdullahi first shared his idea on Instagram, he wasn’t expecting much.

He wanted to get some friends together for a bike ride to explore Austin’s Black history. He figured maybe 20 or 30 friends would join him.

People gather in Austin on May 30 to protest racism and police brutality. Local leaders want to ensure the movement for racial justice continues for generations to come.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Black leaders in Central Texas are forming a new coalition called the Black Leaders Collective to address systemic racism.

The group has about 40 members, including activists, educators, artists and policymakers, who say they want to create meaningful and transformative change that goes beyond conducting studies and making plans. 

Austin Police officers stand outside APD headquarters during protests against police killings and systemic racism.
Michael Minasi / KUT

The Austin Police Department says it will delay the release of body camera footage from officers who caused serious injuries to demonstrators during the first weekend of protests against police killings and systemic racism in Austin.

Protesters march from Huston-Tillotson to the state Capitol, demanding an end to systemic racism and police violence.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The recent police killings of Black people, the subsequent protests and the removal of Confederate statues and other symbols have focused attention this summer on systemic racism. What has received less attention is the deep and ongoing trauma that racism has laid in.

(Left) Julia Reihs | KUT; (Right) Photo courtesy of Laurie Eiserloh

The Travis County attorney does thankless work. That's a bleak descriptor, but it's not wrong.

Both Laurie Eiserloh, a career attorney and longtime staffer at the county attorney's office, and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza want to take on that thankless work and are competing in the Democratic runoff for the position that has no Republican challenger.

An officer points a shotgun at a protester.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department has named five officers it says may be responsible for seriously injuring people demonstrating during the first weekend of protests against systemic racism and police violence.

NASA/Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Late Thursday, a sweeping police reform measure passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and make it easier to hold police liable if sued, was largely approved along party lines. Mostly Democrats voted in favor.

UT football stadium
KUT

From Texas Standard:

Student athletes at the University of Texas at Austin are asking the university to change some of its practices and traditions in the wake of national protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

Painters outline "Black Austin Matters" on Congress Avenue early Tuesday morning.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

Parts of Congress Avenue were closed Tuesday as crews painted "Black Austin Matters" across several blocks of the downtown Austin street.

When protesters across the U.S. started marching through city streets late last month, demanding justice for George Floyd, state and local leaders sounded a familiar alarm. 


The civil rights movement largely passed East Texas by in the 1950s and '60s. Today, more than a half century later, there remains little tradition of protest in the region — part of plantation country during slavery — and scant experience with organizing.

Saraneka Martin with her husband, Kenneth Martin, outside Austin Police Department headquarters.
Michael Minasi / KUT

A 24-year-old pregnant protester who was shot with a lead-pellet bag by Austin police two weeks ago is calling for accountability.

Saraneka Martin, who is seven weeks pregnant, said she was sitting with other demonstrators during the first weekend of protests downtown when police began using the so-called less-lethal ammunition.

Joseph Frilot, a social studies teacher at IDEA Montopolis College Prep, leads a group of educators marching to demand racial justice in education.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Mackee Mason is the principal at Austin Achieve Public Schools. But at a protest led by teachers Friday, he shared a time when the police made him, a black man, feel like a criminal.

Brenda Ramos at her home in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Brenda Ramos is not broken.

She strains in a chair in her South Austin home, adjusting the pain-relief pads just below her shoulder, displacing the rosary she's been keeping around her neck since her son, Mike, died. She's surrounded by sympathy cards and flowers. A crucifix reads, "I am with you."

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

A group of black community activists led a march from Huston-Tillotson University to the state Capitol on Sunday. Thousands of people turned out for the peaceful protest.

“This was an idea on a Tuesday, we sat down on a Friday to iron out the details, and Sunday you had thousands on top of thousands on top of thousands,” said one of the organizers, Reese Herd II, who spoke with Texas Standard host David Brown on Thursday.

A protester holds a sign that says, "Defund the Police."
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"Defund the police” has become a nationwide rallying cry for people protesting police violence against black people. Locally, the Austin Justice Coalition has asked the City Council to remove $100 million from police department's budget.

A protester holds a sign that says "We demand police reform."
Michael Minasi / KUT

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Austin City Council members voted unanimously Thursday on four items related to the Austin Police Department’s policy and budget, including transferring some money from police to social services and banning police use of some potentially deadly weapons and practices.

Rania Lewis helps distribute donations for individuals experiencing homelessness under I-35.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Peaceful protests outside Austin police headquarters two weekends ago were marred by destruction as people set fire to a car and the belongings of Austinites living under I-35.

Young Leaders Tell Us Why They Organize Protests

Jun 9, 2020
Michael Minasi/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The death of George Floyd, which occurred after a white Minneapolis police officer pushed his knee into Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, has served as a catalyst for protests in a country overcome by the inequitable and unjust treatment of African Americans and people of color.

Thousands rallied at Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin to protest police violence on June 7, 2020.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands gathered at Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin on Sunday to rally against police violence against black people and systemic racism. It was at least the 10th day of protests in Austin over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, the latest in many police killings of unarmed black people nationwide. Protesters are also demanding justice in the killing of Mike Ramos, a Hispanic and black man, by Austin police April 24.  

In nationwide demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd and other black Americans, protesters are frequently pepper-sprayed or enveloped in clouds of tear gas.

Michael Minasi/KUT

It’s Pride Month – a time usually filled with parades and celebrations. But after recent unrest in Austin and across the country in response to the police killings of unarmed black people, the LGBTQIA+ community took to the streets for a different reason.

Michael Minasi / KUT

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Joshua Howell wants you to listen. He wants you to listen to people of color when they talk about and document police violence and racism. He wants you to experience it as those folks did.

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