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Casar, Adler Support 'Freedom City' Package of Resolutions

The Austin City Council will take up a pair of resolutions spearheaded by Greg Casar, and backed up by Mayor Steve Adler.  Both resolutions deal with how the Austin Police Department can operate, and one of them also ties into the controversial Senate Bill 4 passed last year at the Capitol.

The first resolution Casar is looking to have approved is in regard to non-violent arrests for things like marijuana possession, driving with an invalid license, or petty theft.  According to Casar, data he has compiled shows a racial disparity between the number of non-whites who are arrested for these offenses compared to the number of whites.

"You don't have to be a data scientist to see how harsh the racial disparities are and arrests in this community,” said Casar.

Mayor Adler backed up Casar in his contention that racial bias exists within the Austin Police Department, adding that race actually plays into nearly everything from housing to health outcomes.

"We have a system that is not just and fair, and we need to do everything we can in each of those areas to fix it," Adler said.

Casar's other resolution involves the protection of illegal immigrants, which by his own admission make up more than 30% of his council district.  Casar is proposing using city resources to offer better protections from deportation, including teaching them things such as refusing to speak to police officers.

Both of his resolutions are expected to pass.

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