ACLU of Texas Demands Transparency, Accountability of McKinney and Waco Police Departments
HOUSTON – In separate written requests submitted today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas demanded two Texas police departments provide a full accounting of recent incidents involving excessive use of force in the City of McKinney and mass arrests in the City of Waco. Though unrelated, the events share a common problem: police abuse and lack of transparency and accountability.
“In order to maintain the trust of the communities they serve, law enforcement agencies must embrace transparency in their operations, especially when questionable incidents occur,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “Recent events in McKinney and Waco, like many that we’ve seen across the country, exhibit troubling trends in law enforcement culture, such as overzealous and abusive policing. We respect that police officers face daily, sometimes life-threatening challenges — and often must make split-second decisions — but their role as protectors of the peace and servants of their communities means they must always be held to a higher standard. We hope that police administrators comply with our requests and show the public they are committed to openness, to building trust, and to accountability for any incident that raises the specter of wrongdoing.”
The ACLU of Texas’ open records requests were delivered just one month after the release of the final report of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which calls upon law enforcement to embrace a guardian — rather than a warrior — mindset, to establish transparency and a clear chain of accountability, to increase community outreach, and to renew a focus on officer training.
View the open records request to the McKinney Police Department: http://www.aclutx.org/download/200
View the open records request to the Waco Police Department: http://www.aclutx.org/download/201
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