Republican Governor Greg Abbott told “Hannity” on Wednesday that he will not tolerate municipalities defunding their law enforcement apparatus.
“You’ve seen and you have documented what happened in Portland, in Seattle, in Chicago, New York, and cities across the country,” Abbott said. “Now Austin, Texas, has defunded law enforcement [and] police … despite the fact that over the first six months of this year, the city ranked number one in the United States for the highest percentage increase in murders was Austin, Texas.”
Austin City Council unanimously voted to cut its police department budget by $150 million on Thursday after the department received months of criticism over the use of force against anti-police brutality protesters and the handling of a high-profile case involving a man who shot and killed an alleged protester who was carrying an AK-47 rifle, according to the Texas Tribune.
Abbott said that legislation has been proposed this week that will freeze the tax revenue for any city that defunds its police or law enforcement department.
“[T]hey will lose the lifeblood of the revenues they receive from property taxes in Texas,” Abbott explained. “What this does, in English, is it is going to defund cities and cities’ ability to operate at all if they try to defund law enforcement.
“We believe in law enforcement in Texas and we are not going to allow a replication of the types of policies we’ve seen destroying cities like Seattle and Portland and others.”
Abbott accused liberal cities of “caving to socialism,” and argued that the violence that’s erupted in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and “cities across the country” in recent months have allowed their cities to be “hijacked,” and offers proof that defunding the police is a dangerous move.
“So Texas is laying down a marker and that is, whether it be the city of Austin or another city, such actions are not going to be tolerated. In Texas, we embrace law enforcement, we will not accept turning power over to these socialistic forces that seek to abandon the rule of law and abandon the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.”