Two years after the Austin City Council approved a settlement for survivors whose cases were mishandled by the Austin Police Department from 2006-2019, city officials delivered a public apology to 15 people on Tuesday.
The apology was one of the terms of the settlement.
Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson spoke directly to the impacted victims.
“I would like to apologize for how your cases were mishandled,” said Henderson. “I also must thank you for your courage, and for your persistence to improve outcomes for all survivors.”
District 10 Councilwoman Alison Alter said there is still plenty of work left to be done.
“I want to thank the brave survivors who came forward,” Alter said. “No one deserves to experience sexual assault, and when it does happen, survivors deserve access to healing and justice. We could not have come this far without you, and we’re not going to stop until anyone who experiences sexual violence in our community can trust that their report will be fully investigated, and their healing will be supported.”
After hearing the apology, the survivors gathered with advocates, attorneys, and council members outside of City Hall.
“For each of these plaintiffs there are many more individuals who reported an assault and experienced a system that did not support them, or never reported their assault because they didn’t have faith in that system,” Alter remarked. “This moment is meaningful to many in our community.”