"Congratulations Mr. Nelson Linder on your countless hours & numerous years serving Austin and the Central Texas community. Thankful for your tenacity to make life better for the disinfranchised and falsely accused. May GOD continue to Bless you and your work." -LaTonya Pegues
The officer who killed an unarmed black man in the latest police shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, has stated that he felt threatened.
Penal codes all across America have provided an umbrella for law enforcement officers to use as a shield. This is why our primary focus locally and nationally is to 1) amend penal codes 2) force district attorney's to conduct independence investigations 3) ensure that local police departments are only allowed to use the amount of force based on the opposition they are encountering.
The case in Charleston is a clear example of why all law enforcement officers should be required to abide by "Tennessee vs. Garner." Also the camera issue is a no brainier. All departments should be mandated to provide video cameras.
Finally, nothing works as well as an enlightened public that provides its own eyes and ears.
President of the Austin NAACP
Tennessee v. Garner states that when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. More info can be found here.
Graham v. Connor states that an objective reasonableness standard should apply to a free citizen's claim that law enforcement officials used excessive force in the course of making an arrest, investigatory stop, or other "seizure" of his person. More info can be found here.
PLEASE NOTE THE TOURNAMENT DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO APRIL 6TH!
Please click the images below to enlarge the photos and get all the information to participate in KAZI's 4th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament. The tournament will take place on April 6, 2014 at 8:30am. Mr. Nelson Linder, president of the Austin Branch NAACP, will be the Lifetime Community Award Recipient.
A Letter From the Austin Branch NAACP President, Nelson Linder
This year the NAACP celebrates 105 years of history as the nation's oldest civil rights organization. We would love to have your support in at least one or more ways. We are reaching out earlier this year to allow you time to become a sponsor, buy tickets/tables to the banquet, make a donation, or purchase an ad in our collectible annual souvenir journal.
On December 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m., the Austin NAACP Branch will host its 49th Annual DeWitty/Overton Freedom Fund Banquet at the Hyatt Regency Austin Hotel, 208 Barton Springs Drive, Austin, Texas 78704.
The banquet honors two great Texans who fought on the front lines for civil rights: Arthur B. DeWitty and Volma Overton. The DeWitty/Overton Award recipient is Pamela Wade of the City of Austin- Human Resource, Municipal Civil Service. The prestigious Captain Louie White Award recipient is Captain Cyril Friday of the Travis County Sherriff’s Department. This year’s theme is “African American Quality of Life 10 Year Assessment and Review”.
The Austin NAACP branch is proud to announce our keynote speaker for the 2014 banquet will be Beverly Kearney former University of Texas Head Coach of Women’s Track and Field for 21 years. Beverly Kearney led the Longhorns to six NCAA Track Championships and has been a source of inspiration for African American Athletes all over the nation. In 2006, Kearney founded Pursuits of Dreams, a nonprofit organization committed to reconnecting and assisting individuals with their Life's purpose, passions, and dreams.
Our annual banquet also offers a wonderful marketing opportunity for local politicians, business owners, lawyers, doctors, churches, restaurants, vendors, and other groups to advertise in our collectible souvenir journal at a very low rate. Your ad will be viewed by over 600 guests in one night!
You also have an opportunity to support the NAACP by submitting ads for memorials, graduations, retirements, congratulations and future announcements and events. We have pages dedicated to those who want their names posted as patrons (you can gather names from churches, sports teams, and family members etc. to add as patrons).
If you would like to attend the banquet please visit our website to purchase tickets or tables (seated for 10). www.naacpaustin.com (Click on 49th DeWitty/Overton Banquet). If you have additional questions about tickets or tables, please contact Polly Street @ 512-497-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please see the Rate Plan Form to submit an ad for the souvenir journal.
On behalf of the Austin NAACP Branch, we would like to thank you in advance for your support.
Austin NAACP President
An interview by Sarah Wild, originally posted on http://naarpr.org
police-crimes-us-cities-view-austin-texas/Nelson Linder, President of the Austin, Texas, Branch of the NAACP gives us an on-the-ground perspective on the current increasing rate of racist police crimes in Austin, and how the fight for justice led to demanding that the Dept of Justice cut off all federal money to Austin Police Department.
Nelson Linder was born and raised in Georgia and has been living in Austin, Texas since 1981. Amongst many other achievements and successes, Linder in 1992 founded the controversial Garvey/Allen/Washington Project, an organization primarily focused on self-empowerment and social justice for African Americans. He was elected President of the Austin, Texas, Branch of the NAACP in 2000, continuing the focus on fighting racism, police brutality and misconduct in the Austin, Texas area. Linder is currently working on a new book entitled “Minimum Force Necessary – eradicating police brutality”.
QUESTION: Austin is sometimes referred to here in Chicago, rightly or wrongly, as a progressive liberal oasis of the south. For those of us who are not so familiar with Austin, its demographics and history of police misconduct, can you give us some details about the make up of this capital city of Texas and the history of how minority communities are effected by practices and policies of the Austin Police Department (APD)?
Nelson Linder: “The City of Austin would be considered progressive compared to other cities in Texas such as Dallas and Houston. The city is Blue compared to most of the state, which is Red.The University of Texas is a major influence and the city is dominated by the high techindustry. The city is currently around 60 percent white, 35 percent Latino, 8 percent AfricanAmerican and 6 percent Asian. The culture of the city is a mixture of various influences, includingthe South, Southwest and Western migration.
“Beginning in the mid-nineties, the city began to experience a rash of deaths of African Americans involving white police officers. The trend spiraled downward in 2000 and increased again in 2002 with the implementation of police oversight. Although the police monitor office has been criticized routinely by some organizations, the office has helped shine the light and raise the awareness of the community around police shootings of African Americans and Latinos.”
In 2004, the Austin NAACP and Texas Civil Rights Project filed a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) invoking Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, against the Austin Police Department—that would cut them off from federal funds. The complaint included many details of systemic police misconduct, including the fact that between 1999 and 2003, eleven people died from encounters with Austin police. Only one of the people who died was Caucasian, the rest were either Hispanic or African American.
What were the effects on the ground so to speak of this filing?
Nelson Linder: “On June 19, 2004 the Austin NAACP begin to gather data on the racial composition of police shootings to gain the attention of city officials and demonstrate the disparate impact of the shootings on African Americans and Latinos. Once the disparities were made public, Jim Harrington and I jointly filed a Title VI complaint to convey the urgency of the problem to city and federal officials. We knew that the City of Austin was receiving almost 3 million dollars in federal funds. We encouraged the federal government to withhold funds until the city eliminated the racial disparities.
“The purpose of the Title VI complaint was to establish an orderly and systematic way of monitoring police misconduct and to ensure that our approach to eradicating police brutality would be organized and include a legal premise. We got the attention of the city of Austin and the Department of Justice.”
How were police crime victims and their communities mobilizing around this important complaint?
Nelson Linder: “Regarding the community, unfortunately, whenever police shootings had occurred there would be emotional outbursts, but no concerted strategy designed to sustain our efforts to imposed sanctions and pressure at every level on government officials. Between 2005 and 2007, there was a reduction in the shooting ratios involving police and African Americans and Latino victims. In 2004, African Americans were being shot at a ratio 100 times the rate of Caucasians. Latinos were at a rate of about 25 percent higher. Then police chief Stanley Knee, resigned due to the ratios and political pressure.”
How did this decision to make this specific complaint come about?”
Nelson Linder: “In 2007, Art Acevedo was hired as Austin’s new police chief. Acevedo immediately began extensive outreach to all communities and fired Michael Olsen for shooting Kevin Brown. The shootings stopped for two years and restarted with the death of Nathaniel Sanders in 2009. The Sanders shooting was mishandled by Acevedo and the City of Austin, this caused anger and conflict in the African American community. The case was eventually settled in a civil lawsuit for $750,000.
“On May 27, 2011, the Department of Justice ended its investigation of the Austin Police Department. In a confusing statement the DOJ said that while the Austin Police Department did not violate the constitutional rights of African Americans, they did identify concerns that could lead to violations of law. They issued the Austin Police Department a technical assistance letter, which included 165 recommendations for improvement.”
In 2012, the Austin NAACP and Texas Civil Rights Project filed a new complaint against the APD and the City of Austin with the DOJ, again invoking Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. It is a very powerful, detailed and damning document against both APD and the City of Austin [Chicagoans & folk wherever you are - READ IT HERE!]
Can you talk about the new complaint–what was added that was not in the first?
Nelson Linder: “The Title VI complaint was updated on June 27, 2012, to reflect our concerns that use of force was increasing again after the DOJ completed its investigations. The revised filing also updated shootings by police and other data that reflected our concerns about excessive force against African Americans and Latinos.”
Is there an increased power of amplification that this second filing enabled, in terms of DOJ’s possible response–with an actual withholding of federal funds to APD, and in terms of the effects of community mobilization as they fight for real change in Austin?
Nelson Linder: “The Title VI complaint has been a valuable tool in keeping vital statistics on police issues in Austin, maintaining data allows continuing access to the Department of Justice.
“I believe that until the Texas State Penal code is amended to enable prosecutors to focus more on criminal negligence as opposed to intentional police actions, real accountability will be very difficult to achieve. District attorneys around the nations are burying their collective heads in outdated, antiquated penal codes. Even at the Federal level, 18 - USC 242 is ineffective and also focuses on intent as opposed to negligence as well. Willful intent is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Our strategy has to include a focus on police behavior, but we must also focus on the institutions that are supposed to hold them accountable. District attorneys are elected officials. Our state representatives and congress people are missing in action on police misconduct and brutality.
“They must be forced to amend these slavery-based penal codes: the Department of Justice must do a better job of intervening in local shootings when necessary. They should have placed Albuquerque under a federal decree over two years ago. Albuquerque has been violating the constitutional rights of citizens for years. We need to implement a national database where police shootings are reported and evaluated. This would reveal the magnitude of the problem and ensure more communication and pave the way for effective mobilization.”
Why are you participating in the upcoming National Forum on Police Crimes?
“Too many communities are isolated and ignored, now is the time to empower local communities. The National Forum is a very important beginning to the mobilization of local and nationally scaled initiatives and actions through the sharing of best practices and strategies. Really, now is the time…see you all there in Chicago”
Thank you Nelson Linder, we are very honored and excited that you are coming to the Forum.
The NAACP has released a new report that evaluates energy policy in all 50 states from a civil rights perspective. “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs,” is an analysis of each state’s energy sector policies based on environmental and economic impacts.
NAACP environmental and climate justice director, Jacqueline Patterson, commented about the report’s expectations:
The ‘Just Energy Policies’ report lays out a vision, supported by practical data, for a transition from harmful energy production processes in our communities to an energy efficient and clean energy policy landscape that reduces pollution and creates new jobs.
The report assesses states on five different criteria: Renewable Portfolio Standards, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, Net Metering Standards, Local Hire Provisions, and Minority Business Enterprise Provisions. Additionally, the report lays out the potential for each state to become a leader in clean energy.
It discovered that Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York rank as the states with the best energy policies, while Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee are ranked at the bottom.
Our January 28th monthly membership meeting will be held at Windsor Park Library, located at 5833 Westminster Dr. Austin , Tx 78723.
The meeting will begin at 6:00pm and go into Executive session from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
Our February meeting will be held on February 25th at 6:00pm and go into Executive session from 7:00pm to 7:30pm. The location is 6633 U.S. 290 Frontage Rd. Austin, Texas ( African American men and boys conference) the main contact is Michael Lofton.
Our March meeting will be held on March 25, 2014 at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, located at 1156 Hargrave, Austin, Texas. This meeting will feature the president's appreciation and celebration fundraiser and begin at 6:00pm and adjourn at around 8:00pm.
Our April meeting will be held on April 22nd at Huston Tillotson University, located at 900 Chicon Street, Austin, Texas. The meeting will convene at 6:00pm and enter Executive session from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
Our May meeting will be held on May 27, 2014 at the Austin Community College Highland Business Center located at 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, Texas. The meeting will begin at 6:00pm and enter Executive session from 7:00pm to 7:30pm
Our June meeting will be held on June 24th at the United Way for Greater Austin, located at 2000 East Martin Luther King. The meeting will convene at 6:00pm and enter Executive session from 7:00pm to 7:30pm
The Austin NAACP will hold its September membership meeting on 09/24/2013 at 6:00pm
at MT. Calvary Baptist Church located at 2111
Washington Avenue, Austin, Texas.
Agenda Items are:
1) Department of Justice Town Hall Meeting on
September 25 at ST. James Missionary Baptist
2) African Americans and the lack of participation in affordable housing in Austin.
3) 10-1 update.
4) Abolishing stand your ground laws in Texas.
The Austin NAACP is located at 1709 East 12th
Street, Austin, Texas .
Branch President - Nelson Linder
Branch Secretary - Juani Coleman
For additional information call 512-476-6230
For emergencies call 512-695-6674
This past weekend, Austin NAACP branch president Nelson Linder was honored to receive the Political Awareness and Involvement Award from the president of the Austin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.
Meetings of the Austin, TX NAACP branch take place on the forth Tuesday of every month at various locations around town. Please visit our calendar to get information on where the next meeting will be.
Austin TX NAACP
The blog of the Austin, Texas branch of the NAACP
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Nelson Linder