Texas Gov Greg Abbott Vows to Ban Cities from Defunding Police
Republican governor says he will sign bill to block 'defund the police' movement
The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has vowed to sign a bill that will prevent cities from defunding their police departments.
Gov. Abbott announced Sunday that he is taking bold action to protect Texans from being hurt by the far-left "defund the police" movement.
In a post on Twitter, Abbott warned that "Texas won't tolerate" underfunded police forces.
The governor retweeted a post from Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday that was critical of the response time for a shooting call early Sunday.
This is what defunding the police looks like.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2021
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
The incident had caused a backlash as the defunded Austin Police Department was unable to adequately respond to the shooting.
Casaday said the call came in at 5:35 a.m. and there were no units available in the city to respond for 12 minutes.
He said the victim suffered a critical injury after being shot in the head.
Police finally arrived at the scene at 5:51 a.m., he said.
Abbott used the shooting to underscore the need for police funding and said, "This is what defunding the police looks like."
"Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head," he said
"Texas won’t tolerate this," the governor warned.
Austin PD has yet to comment on the shooting that Casaday mentioned and if funding restraints played a role in the response time.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that the City Council voted last year to reallocate up to $150 million from the police department.
The paper reported that the city reduced the department’s operational budget by about $21.5 million.
The paper said the savings were 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.
The NBC affiliate reported that the bill calls for the state to take a portion of the sales tax for cities in violation and divert them to state coffers.