Texas AG calls out “police chief” for allowing Black Lives Matter to trap drivers at gunpoint: ‘Unwilling to enforce the law’

PLANO, TX – Black Lives Matter marchers illegally blocked a public street trapping motorists in Plano Texas, and one BLM protester pointed a weapon at a motorist who told them to clear the street. Now, the state Attorney General wants answers.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) called out the violence, and said a local police chief allowed the protesters to continue unabated because he was “unwilling to enforce the law.”

In a letter posted on the Attorney General’s Twitter account, Paxton wrote:

“We must not let lawlessness take root in Texas! Unfortunately, it looks like it already has in Plano, thanks to a group of radical-left, armed agitators and a police chief unwilling to enforce the law.”

In the incident last week, BLM marchers illegally blocked a public street, trapping motorists. In video of the incident, a motorist exits his car and yells at the BLM protesters to clear the street.

The protesters refuse to clear the roadway to allow traffic to pass, and one marcher appeared to pull a gun and pointed it at the motorist.

In the video, the motorist shouts at a Plano officer telling him clear the road. The crowd of marchers continuing with the angry motorist as the officer watches from the roadside. Eventually the officer intercedes.

However, instead of ordering the marchers to cleat the roadway or confronting the armed protester, the officer turns to the motorist and starts moving him back toward his vehicle. The motorist can be heard on the video shouting at the officer, “Get them out of here.”

Another officer joins the first officer, and tells the marchers to “back up.”

Eventually, the motorist walked back to his vehicle as protesters continued to gather and shout.

Attorney General Paxton wrote that a marcher pulled a weapon on the motorist, and the police failed to act:

“Last week, a group of militant BLM protesters illegally shut down traffic underneath a major highway. When one man got out of his car to demand the mob clear the way, an Antifa-like character pulled what appears to be a gun and pointed it at the man.

“Meanwhile, rather than disperse the crowd or arrest the lawbreakers, the lone police officer told the man to go away.”

Paxton said he instructed his deputies to obtain further information regarding the incident from the Plato Police Chief Ed Drain, and that was said was “an even worse picture than the video alone depicts”:

“First, the Chief told my deputy that while the weapon drawn wasn’t a pistol, it was, in fact, a ‘pepper ball gun.’ In a separate conversation, the Chief claimed it was a ‘Taser.’ In a recent Facebook post, the Department is now saying it was an ‘electronic control device.’ Whatever it was, the police declined to pursue the leftist who brandished the weapon, and no charges being pressed against him.

“Second, the Chief was anxious to excuse the rioters. ‘You have to understand to situation,’ urged the Chief. ‘We have to negotiate with these people. Do you expect us to mass arrest these protesters? You know that’s not going to happen.’”

The Attorney General answered that most law enforcement officers would have made the arrests necessary:

“Most law enforcement officers are ready and willing to uphold the law and order. We need them to do that. But too many are held back by politically motivated leaders, crippled by the woke agitators, now aiders and abettors to liberal lunacy.”

Paxton said he was upset that the only person charged with a crime during the entire incident was the motorist. He was reportedly charged with assault with contact for slapping a person’s hand away from his face during the encounter:

“No one else is being charged with anything. None of the law-breaking traffic-blockers, not the guy who pulled a weapon—no one!

I will always support Texans’ First Amendment right to ‘peaceably assemble’ and to ‘petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

“But I will not allow out beautiful Texas cities and neighborhoods to become Portland or Seattle or San Francisco because of the unchecked left. I call upon my friends and allies across the state to crack down on this lawlessness immediately. No excuse!”

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Texas House passes bill that will penalize cities that defund their police departments

May 9, 2021

 

AUSTIN, TX- On Friday, May 7th, the Texas House passed a bill that would financially penalize the state’s largest cities if they cut their police department budgets. 

According to reports, the measure was finally sent to the Senate after two days of heated debates and emotional speeches, with the bill authors calling to “back the blue” and the opposition decrying the bill as political propaganda. 

One of the bill’s author, Rep. Craig Goldman (R), said in a statement:

“We want more money spent on police to keep our communities safe, not less.”

House Bill 1900 would apply only to cities with a population of more than 25o,000 or the 11 largest cities in Texas. According to a preliminary count, at least nine Democrats, voted for the bill, which was eventually approved 90-49. 

During 2020, Governor Greg Abbott became laser focused on “backing the blue,” making legislation to punish cities that decrease police funding one of his emergency items this year.

HB 1900 was authored by Republican state Reps. Craig Goldman, Will Metcalf, Greg Bonnen, and Angie Chen Button and Democrat Richard Peña Raymond.

According to the bill, if a city with more than 250,000 residents was determined by the governor’s office to have cut police funding, the bill would allow the state to appropriate part of a city’s sales taxes and use that money to pay expenses for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Such cities would also be banned from increasing property taxes or utility rates, which could have been use to compensate for the reapportioned sales taxes. On the House floor on Thursday, May 6th, Goldman said:

“As municipalities across this nation are defunding their police departments, are taking money away from the police budgets and putting them elsewhere int their city budgets, this bill makes sure that in the state of Texas, that is not going to be allowed.”

In April, the Senate approved a similar measure, Senate Bill 23, which would require cities and counties to get voter approval before cutting police budgets.

Another measure, HB 2362, would cap government spending by cities and counties at the previous year’s total if cuts are made a police department budget, the number of officers, police overtime or recruitment, and training budgets to fill vacant positions. 

Democrats attempted to amend HB 1900 to give local officials and police departments more flexibility, but the Republican-led chamber voted down all but one.

Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D), laid out an unsuccessful amendment that would have allowed municipalities to make reductions in civilian positions with a police department, like janitors, instead of active law enforcement officers. He said:

“Let’s not play games with police officers. Let’s not play games with cities.”

Raymond defended HB 1900, stating that raising funds is how they can improve other functions, like education and healthcare. He said:

“You invest more in training our law enforcement officers, not less. That’s how you make it better.”

Police union leaders have supported the bill, saying that reducing funding makes their work more difficult. Chris Jones with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas said during the committee hearing of the bill:

“What you’re actually doing is causing officers to do twice as much or a lot more than what they were doing before. I know this is kind of a controversial topic, but we think it’s important to understand that there’s going to be crime and there’s going to continue to be needs. You’re not going to have a civilian be able to in and break a bar room fight.”

Governor Greg Abbott voiced his support for the bill in a recent tweet. He wrote:

“The Texas House is passing a law that cracks down on cities that try to defund the police. In Texas, we don’t demonize or defund the police. Instead, we #BackTheBlue.”

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The post Texas AG calls out “police chief” for allowing Black Lives Matter to trap drivers at gunpoint: ‘Unwilling to enforce the law’ appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

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Author: Scott A. Davis


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