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HomeNewsDid Garza Dismiss Officers’ Indictments for Political Reasons?

Did Garza Dismiss Officers’ Indictments for Political Reasons?

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The Black Lives Matter riots in 2020 had several protests that turned violent. The police attacked unarmed protesters with tear gas and other non-lethal forces, causing many injuries.

Police officers using non-lethal weapons on protesters causing indictments
Source: Pinterest

However, most people believe the police were only demonstrating the brutality they were fighting against. 

The Travis County District Attorney José Garza agrees with this take. In fact, he supported the indictment of 19 police officers who were in court on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after they fired non-lethal rounds at the crowd.

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He said at the time, “Our community is safer when our community trusts enforcement. When it believes law enforcement follows that law and protects the people who live here. There cannot be trust if there is no accountability when law enforcement breaks the law.”

In a surprising twist, these indictments were filed even as the Austin Police Department already exonerated them of any wrongdoing. Therefore, Garza’s opposers believe he is only doing this for political reasons. They claim he is launching a “war on cops” while trying to increase his political influence. 

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However, on December 11, 2023, Garza announced dismissing the cases against 17 police officers. This move surprised a lot of people but not the officers themselves.

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Earlier in 2022, one of the inducted officers who had his charges dropped told Fox News Digital, “This has nothing to do with justice, has nothing to do with any wrongdoing. This is simply about politics and a political agenda that has taken place with these radical liberal district attorneys.”

In support of this, the president of the Austin Police Retired Officers Association, Dennis Farris, also spoke to Fox. He claimed it was “stupid to think that those officers went out there with the idea that they were going to hurt people.”

According to him, that was never the intention. “The intention was to protect the police station and protect themselves from the rocks, bottles, frozen water bottles, bottles containing bodily fluids that were thrown at them, some bottles contained bleach — hell, they even had a guy that was trying to light a Molotov cocktail,” he added. 

Doug O’Connell, the attorney who represented the officers, also believes that Garza only has a personal agenda and that the indictments were without evidence. 

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“We recognized early on that the evidence didn’t support an indictment or a conviction on the substance,” he said. In addition, his colleague Ken Ervin said, “The dismissal of 17 out of 21 underscores and backs up what we’ve been seeing from the beginning, which was these were political indictments. We don’t think they had really any interest in seeing them through.”

While over 20 of these officers are now free of indictments, four officers remain charged. Garza is also not backing down anytime soon despite dropping the charges. In a statement, he said, “No parent should fear that if their child chooses to voice their First Amendment right to assemble peacefully, they will walk away with serious bodily injury caused by the very person called upon to protect them.”

Reemphasizing his stance, he added, “We will also continue to hold law enforcement who break the law accountable.” 

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