2/4 - Item 32 - Forensics Dept

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Greg Casar
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

2/4 - Item 32 - Forensics Dept

Post by Greg Casar » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:58 pm

Colleagues,

After years of advocacy from survivors, justice reform advocates, and scientific organizations, I am glad that we have Item 32 on this week’s agenda. Establishing a Forensic Science Department --that is independent of law enforcement agencies-- is an important step for public safety, community trust, and transparency.

We've recently received a suggested amendment from SAFE, Survivor Justice Project, Austin Justice Coalition, Texas Fair Defense Project, and Just Liberty. The amendment makes clear that scientific integrity and the pursuit of justice are the clear goals of this new department. Attached is the amendment as sent to us by the advocates with slight wording changes suggested by our Law department.
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 174732.pdf

I look forward to passing this item on Thursday, and I hope we can incorporate this amendment as part of our consent agenda.

-Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: 2/4 - Item 32 - Forensics Dept

Post by Ann Kitchen » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:55 am

Thank you CM Casar. I expect to support this amendment.

I also may have questions related to the pros and cons of moving toward an independent lab over time, as is done in Houston, if it is possible to protect current city employees wage and benefit levels.

Best
Ann Kitchen
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Natasha Harper-Madison
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:52 pm

Re: 2/4 - Item 32 - Forensics Dept

Post by Natasha Harper-Madison » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:59 am

Thank you for this CM Casar. These are in line with some of the changes I was working on, I fully support these additions.

Best,
NHM
Natasha Harper-Madison
Council Member District 1

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