Austin activists call emergency meeting following teen's death

Photo credit: KEYE TV

Tuesday night, Austin activists gathered to organize what they're calling an emergency response to David Joseph's death.

The unarmed teen was shot and killed by an Austin Police officer on Natures Bend Trail Monday morning. Police said Joseph was not complying with an officer's commands and instead charged the officer.

Inside St. James Missionary Baptist Church, the Austin Justice Coalition, Black Lives Matter and other Austin activists focused on the next steps to hel Joseph's family and get answers for the community.

Behind closed doors, community members talked about their frustrations. Journalists were not allowed inside the meeting for the first hour. Once in, organizers explained they're losing their sense of optimism.

"Many of us are very tired. We've done so much demonstrating. We've done so many different marches. We've raised hell, so I believe the concern is that --- our hope has diminished," explained Meme Styles with that Austin Justice Coalition.

Inside the church, strangers gathered to coordinate care and support for Joseph's family. They delegated meal cooking, transportation, housekeeping and landscaping.

The support from strangers touched one of Joseph's former teachers, Cynthia Ruiz. Ruiz taught English to Joseph at Connolly High School. She says those that knew him are hurting, but where they lack answers, they're relying on each other.

"I told my students I have a lot of anger too and confusion, but I do have hope that everyone is going to move forward and together... that if we keep working together, things can change and things can get better," Ruiz said.

The groups that gathered for the emergency community meeting are also planning a protest in response to Joseph's death. The protest is currently scheduled for Thursday.

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