Leftist Travis County, Texas, district attorney José Garza, an avowed socialist, shocked Austin last week by indicting 19 police officers who were involved with responding to the destructive riots in May of 2020, charging them with using “excessive force” against the violent protesters.
“The state grand jury indictment is tied to allegations of excessive force during the protests in the city in May 2020 following officer-involved deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Michael Ramos a month prior in Austin. More than three dozen people went to the hospital for treatment from their sustained injuries,” the Austin American-Statesman reported on Thursday.
The contents of the indictments have not yet been revealed, so it isn’t certain to which cases the left-wing DA is linking the officers.
Regardless, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon was “extremely disappointed” by the DA’s move and said during a press conference that he could not understand how charges against his officers could be justified.
Chacon reminded everyone that the protests were extremely destructive and violent and noted that his officers were dealing with extreme circumstances.
“As a department, we asked these officers to work under the most chaotic or circumstances in May of 2020 and to make split-second decisions to protect all participants,” Chacon said in his news conference, CBS Austin reported.
The chief also noted that the number of rioters was far larger than many early reports contended.
“Officers were prepared for hundreds when instead they faced thousands, placing them in potentially the worst possible circumstances to manage escalating crowds,” Cachon explained.
Cachon went on to point out that the rioters were intent on causing serious injuries to the police by throwing frozen water bottles, rocks and other objects as well as launching commercial-grade fireworks at police officers during several days of rioting.
The chief admitted that the riot-prevention weapons officers had been provided did not work as expected.
“Additionally, the weapons provided to our officers did not perform [in] all instances in the manner anticipated. APD recognized this and now prohibits the use of less-lethal munitions in crowd control situations,” he said.
Cachon also said he hopes that his officers will be given the same fair and speedy trials that the left-wing DA has insisted that the rioters should get.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk added, “Any indictments will heighten the anxiety of our officers and will impact the staffing shortages we are experiencing. We are disappointed to be in this position, and we do not believe that criminal indictments of the officers working under very difficult circumstances is the correct outcome.”
For his part, former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo blasted the DA, saying, “Highly unusual, but not surprising considering you have an activist DA who is more interested in coddling violent criminals and believes the police are criminals and the criminals [are] saints. Having said that, I respect the Grand Jury process and will withhold final judgment until we see the evidence in each individual case.”
Indeed, Garza is about as hard-core a leftist as you’d want to meet. He is even an open member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
When he ran for the office in 2020, according to The Associated Press, he campaigned on a platform of being soft on crime, said he wanted to end “low-level” drug prosecutions, and also that he would target police officers for “misconduct.”
In the end, it should not be all that shocking that a soft-on-crime, left-wing, George Soros-bought district attorney is turning his power toward harassing and indicting police officers because they were tasked with trying to limit the millions in property destruction being perpetrated by Black Lives Matter-inspired rioters and domestic terrorists.
These rioters destroyed huge swaths of Austin, all while the media cheered them on, even as regular citizens were left to pick up the pieces. Nationwide, the cost of the riots in cities across America was determined to be close to two billion dollars.
But José Garza made no bones about where he stood on all this when he ran. It was a campaign promise, after all.