(New York Post) Prominent voices blamed liberal, anti-cop policies for chaos in the city over the weekend after street racers took over city intersections, attacking law enforcement and setting people on fire in wild scenes which were caught on video.
“Austin voters wanted a Mayor, City Council, and [George] Soros [funded] DA who treat cops as criminals and criminals as victims,” tweeted the National Police Association, referring to the left wing billionaire, who is said to have funded Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza.
“This was not only predictable, it was predicted,” they added.
The public statement from the law enforcement organization came after one officer was injured, following four separate street racing incidents Saturday night into Sunday morning in the Texas state capital, Austin police said.
Reckless drivers blocked off intersections, doing donuts, terrorizing other motorists, throwing glass bottles, setting off fire works and starting fires. One Austin cop was hospitalized after being hit with rocks and bottles, but has since been released.
Vandals set off fire works over a police cruiser, injuring an officer Saturday night in the Texas capital.Aaron Crews via Storyful
A fire set in a road in Austin where a street race was taking place.Instagram/oscarcruz.ss
In another scene of mayhem, a vandals climbed on top of two sheriff’s patrol cruisers, using traffic signs to shatter the windows.
The Austin Police Department said it took officers 22 minutes to respond to 911 calls by scared citizens “due to no units nearby.”
The department is currently understaffed by about 200 officers, something the Austin Police Association has previously warned could pose a threat to public safety. In October, the union said its ability to respond to Austin City Limits Music Festival and a popular college football game on the same weekend was at a “critical level.”
These criminals vandalizing @TravisCoSheriff vehicle, hope they are found and prosecuted by District Attorney @JosePGarza @KirkPWatson @RyanAlter @mkelly007 @ALTERforATX @paigejellis @LesliePoolATX @chitovela3 @VanessaForATX @joseforatx @NatashaD1atx @ZoForAustin https://t.co/3HGMo5EeIt pic.twitter.com/MEuH8tGKbj
— cleo – Austin Latina Mom & MODERATE Democrat (@Cleo_Petricek) February 20, 2023
Not enough officers to safely protect the citizens of this city.
While crazy car clubs disrupt traffic, other criminals are victimizing people in E Austin and the need for mental help is rapidly increasing. #InvestInPublicSafety #PublicSafetyFirst#ATX https://t.co/XQigZzl13W pic.twitter.com/1R1RJmLmGO
— Bino Cadenas (@Officer_Bino) February 19, 2023
“This is why it is vital that city leadership prioritizes funding and staffing for [Austin Police Department],” the union tweeted.
After the weekend bedlam, union leaders slammed woke elected officials who campaigned on anti-police rhetoric.
“Austin policy makers are directly responsible for the overall safety of their citizens & visitors,” the tweet stated. “Looks like they failed to make the right decisions & continue to defund, destroy, & demoralize public safety. Austin was one of the safest cities, NOT anymore.”
Garza has clashed with police officials ever since he took office in 2021 and promised police reform in the city.
WARNING: With the UT football game and Austin City Limits falling on the same weekend, the influx of football game attendees and festival goers, has stretched Austin police staffing to critical levels. pic.twitter.com/yxjkebym7j
— Austin Police Association (@ATXPOA) October 14, 2022
In August 2020, the city local council voted to defund cops by $150 million, slashing its budget by a third in the months after protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police, which sparked protests and clashes around the country between protestors and police. A year later they chose to refund it.
Additionally, the local district attorney announced the indictment of 19 police officers accused of using excessive force against protestors in summer 2020.
Elected officials also nixed three cadet classes and cut 150 officers from the budget in 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.