Bigotry and Racism Rampant in Austin Police Department

Austin Police Department Patch
Austin Police Department

Officer Fired for Racist Comment

(TX) – Austin is known for being the most liberal city in Texas, but police departments have more in common with each other than they do with their constituents.

Officer Daniel Castelline, with the Austin Police Department, was text messaging with two former officers and, unsurprisingly, they were all engaging in racist comments. Castelline texted about an Asian man saying, “We’re definitely getting corona. And it’ll be that bastard.” Castelline’s comment refers to the racist belief that Asians carry the coronavirus and pass it to non-Asians. His comment also encouraged the others in the group to advance their own bigotry, with one of them referring to Asians by a racist term. Officer Castelline willingly continued with the conversation, never stating that anything being said was unacceptable.

Like we’ve seen so many times before, Officer Castelline did not accept responsibility for his actions. He blamed the other officers, denied his comments were racist, and tried to use the fact that he was off-duty as a reason why he should not have to face consequences. That last part is particularly ridiculous since every officer knows that the things the department considers as police misconduct, even when occurring while an officer is off-duty, can and will be held against them.

Police Chief Resigns Over Racist Comments

Austin Police chief, Justin Newsom, resigns amid claims of racism and bigotry
Justin Newsom photo by Emree Weaver For KUT

The incident with Officer Castelline follows the abrupt resignation of Assistant Police Chief Justin Newsom in April of this year. Chief Newsom was accused of using racist terms for Black people. According to,

“KUT obtained a copy of the complaint late Friday morning. An anonymous complainant alleged that Newsom used a racist term to describe black people, including former City Council Member Ora Houston and former APD Chief Frank Dixon, both of whom are black. Newsom allegedly used this racist term “on a continous [sic] basis for at least the last decade,” according to the complaint.”

An independent investigation was requested by the City of Austin and done by a Bexar County attorney but according to the attorney it was like, “being named an honorary detective who was assigned to investigate an outdoor crime scene after it had already rained heavily – twice.” The reason she says that is because a lot of the evidence (documents individuals claimed they had seen and documents that had been signed), were never turned over to her for investigation even though she asked the Austin Police Department for them.

Per the report,

“On the occasions when such documents were not produced, no explanation was provided as to the absence of a record or document,” it said. “Tatum Law cannot say whether a document in question was lost, damaged, destroyed, destroyed pursuant to a record retention policy or otherwise.”

The Fix Was In

The Austin Police Department made sure that Tatum Law did not have the evidence they needed to prove what Assistant Police Chief Justin Newsom had done, resulting in a report that could not verify the allegations. But it gets better than that. The president of the Austin Police Association, Ken Casaday, told Chief Newsom that there were allegations against him. That let Newsom know to retire immediately before he faced any kind of sanctions that could affect his retirement. He received full benefits. See video below.

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