Police deployment as a civil rights issue

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At AustinTalks, Serethea Matthews reports that many Austin residents have stopped calling 911, “since they don’t expect police to show up.”  (The article was also published in the Chicago Defender.)  When they do show up, they may drive by an incident and do nothing, residents say.

Information from a FOIA request showed that more police cars are routinely dispatched in response to 911 on the North Side compared to Austin – though Austin has three times as many violent crimes. For calls about “shots fired,” more than two times as many cars are dispatched on the Near North compared to Austin.

The Central Austin Neighborhood Association and the ACLU sued the city in 2011, charging that disproportionate allocation of police resources violates the civil rights of Austin residents, she reports.

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