Texas’ Abbott Says He’ll Sign Bill That Will Prevent Cities From Defunding Police
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his plan to sign a measure that would essentially block cities in the state to defund police departments.
The Republican governor used a recent shooting in Austin to underscore the need for such a bill — citing how timely response from law enforcers is critical in these kinds of incidents as he noted the need for police funding.
“This is what defunding the police looks like,” Abbott commented to a post from Kenneth Casaday, the president of the Austin Police Association, noting how vital response time is for a shooting call.
This is what defunding the police looks like.
Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head.
Texas won't tolerate this.
We're about to pass a law-that I will sign-that will prevent cities from defunding police.
Sanity & safety will return. https://t.co/UtQVoUXzBL
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2021
“Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head,” he added.
“Texas won’t tolerate this. We’re about to pass a law-that I will sign-that will prevent cities from defunding police” — noting that “sanity & safety will return” then.
In the post, Casaday related how an emergency call came in at 5:35 a.m. and there were “no units available in the city to respond for 12 minutes.”
He went on to say that due to the police’ shortage, which made it difficult to respond to the crime scene on time, the victim suffered a critical injury after being shot in the head.
Police eventually arrived at the premises at 5:51 a.m., he said, which is over 20 minutes following the call.
“Austin police did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News seeking information about the shooting that Casaday mentioned and if funding restraints played a role in the response time,” Fox News reported.
Local publication, Austin American-Stateman said, said the City Council voted in 2020 to “reallocate up to $150 million from the police department,” she said.
The publication also revealed that the city reduced the department’s operational budget by about $21.5 million — the savings, made “by delaying to police academies.”
The Texas House of Representatives has passed House Bill 1900, and a Texas Senate committee is debating the bill.
NBC News said the bill calls for the state to take a portion of the sales tax for cities in violation and divert them to state coffers.
Earlier in May, the Texas House approved bills that would penalize communities with populations of 250,000 or more if they reduce funds for their police departments, a standard that 11 cities in the state meet. The bill comes after Abbott sent a notice after Austin, Texas, slashed its police expenditure by $150 million.
This bill cracks down on cities that try to defund police.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 7, 2021
“One step closer to my desk,” he added.
The House-passed bill is to “ensure that no other cities follow Austin, Minneapolis, and Seattle down the path of defunding the police, which serves no purpose other than making their citizens less safe.”
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