After a month of the heightened presence of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in Austin, centered primarily on parts of the city that are home to a large percentage of Austin's non-white communities, concerns and questions are rising - and in parallel, the violent crackdown on transgender rights activists at the Texas State Capitol this week by DPS troopers may further illuminate the reality of the situation. We welcome two guests very close to the story: Austin City Council Member Zo Qadri, who has had a front row seat at Austin City Hall while all of this has unfolded, and prominent Austin-area criminal defense attorney and longtime progressive political activist Rick Cofer, who interacts with both DPS and APD officers on a daily basis, both join us for an intensive analysis. How does DPS differ - in both goals and culture - from municipal or county-level law enforcement agencies? What exactly is DPS's mission and method in Austin? How was the decision at the top levels of the city's leadership to bring them in reached? And, what happens next: when, and how, can this uncomfortable partnership come to a peaceful close?
By the way, as you'll hear in our conversation, the May "Prop A vs Prop B" election in Austin is directly related to today's topic. If you're listening on release day (Saturday May 6) - PLEASE get out and vote TODAY! Learn more at GoVoteTexas.org. You have until 7pm!
And, if you appreciate our work and would like to help us continue, please consider making a donation: https://act.progresstexas.org/a/donate.