Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday night he will sign a bill to prevent cities in the Lone Star State from defunding police departments after officers in Austin took some time to respond to a shooting.
Abbott tweeted, “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,” the governor said. “We’re about to pass a law-that I will sign-that will prevent cities from defunding police.”
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
KEYE-TV reported on Sunday that “no police units were available to respond to a shooting that happened on Sunday morning for 12 minutes.”
“It happened around 5:35 a.m. at 9705 Reservoir Court near the intersection of Giles Lane and E Hwy 290,” the outlet said.
“Police say there appeared to be a disturbance between two vehicles, and it’s possible that the victim who was shot was a bystander.”
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, first posted the information retweeted by Abbott.
APD Case number- 211430419
Shooting Call came out at 5:35am this morning. No units available city wide for 12 minutes.
First Apd patrol unit Assigned at 5:47am
Apd made scene at 5:51am, 16 minutes after the call came out. Victim critically injured after being shot in the head.
— Kenneth Casaday (@KennethCasaday) May 23, 2021
The Austin American-Statesman reported the City Council voted in 2020 to reallocate up to $150 million from the police department.
Austin reduced the department’s operational budget by about $21.5 million, the report said.
Republican state Rep. Craig Goldman spoke strongly in support of the bill in April.
“As municipalities across this nation are defunding their police departments, are taking money away from the police budgets and putting them elsewhere in their city budgets, this bill makes sure that in the state of Texas, that is not going to be allowed,” he said, according to the Texas Tribune.
According to the Tribune, “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.”
House Bill 1900 targets cities with 250,000 or more people, which includes Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Laredo and Lubbock, according to KXAS.
If passed and signed by the governor, the law could go into effect on Sept. 1.
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