As the Texas Legislature wraps up passage of House Bill 1900, a proposed law that would prohibit local governments from defunding their police the way Democrat Austin officials did last summer, the Travis County district attorney’s office—in the home county of Texas’ capital city—has signaled the next phase of their campaign against law enforcement: politicized prosecutions of individual officers.
In a job posting obtained by an Austin American-Statesman reporter, the No. 2 person in the DA’s office, Trudy Strassburger, explains she is “reaching out in the hopes you may be looking to prosecute police officers.”
An email from the No. 2 person in the Austin DA’s office says: “I am reaching out in the hopes that you may be looking to prosecute police officers or that you know someone who is!”
The DA ran on a police accountability platform but this email is sparking controversy. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/BEgWDRbtGY
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) May 22, 2021
District Attorney Jose Garza—a close political ally of socialist Austin City Councilmember Greg Casar—was recently elected after successfully challenging the previous incumbent in the 2020 Democrat primary. Garza campaigned on a platform of so-called “police accountability,” which critics feared would lead to reckless, headline-grabbing rushes of judgment.
“It is VERY important for the public to know who Trudy Strassburger is. She is a BLM activist who is Travis County DA’s #2 in charge,” wrote Justin Berry, a former Austin police officer and prior political candidate for state representative. “The Travis County Judicial System has fully embraced political prosecutions under [DA Garza]. … What we have today [in the county] is a system, [whereby] one radical political entity can utilize the power of this office for their own bias-based agenda and imprison their political enemies regardless of truth or fact.”
The posting comes after DA Garza recently announced new prosecution guidelines that have already resulted in releasing violent criminals back to the streets.
“Travis County DA reduced charges on a suspect of a violent felony who assaulted an Austin Police Officer. Judge Barrera in Travis County Court # 5 sentenced Joshua Crowley to only 30 days county jail on 3/10/2021 for lesser offenses,” read an early May post by the Austin Police Association. “Less than 2 months later, Joshua Crowley is suspected of shooting a person outside a convenience store in Brenham.”
Furthermore, in 2020, the Austin City Council exploited the George Floyd tragedy to gut funding from the city’s police department, cutting a whopping one-third ($150 million) from their budget and spending it on other government programs. In doing so, the council made Austin a poster child for the national “defund the police” movement. Subsequently, homicides have increased by 64 percent in 2020 and are surging to record numbers already in 2021, while other forms of violent crime have also seen double-digit increases.
Travis County citizens may contact the DA’s office at (512) 854-9400.