AUSTIN — Recently elected Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza is again raising many questions with his version of “justice” by allowing a flood of criminal suspects back onto the streets in Texas’ capital city.
According to a report this week by local station KVUE, Garza, after implementing a new “early case review” policy earlier this year, has since rejected 142 felony cases.
By comparison, during the same time frame last year (March 1 to the end of June), the previous DA tossed only 17 felony cases.
Garza, a close political ally of socialist Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, is not pursuing suspects with charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery, and more.
Additionally, 91 of the reviewed 142 thrown-out cases were never presented to a judge, meaning the suspects were released without even appearing in front of a magistrate.
KVUE asked the DA’s office for more details on 15 of the rejected felony offense cases, but Garza only provided specifics on one—in an assault of a pregnant woman, the DA downgraded the felony to a misdemeanor after prosecutors learned the woman was not actually with child.
As Austin’s Democrat local elected officials have enacted numerous harmful decisions throughout the last two years, the city’s violent crime and homicide rates have surged to record highs. Citizens and law enforcement officials are speaking out against Garza’s actions, saying he is part of enabling open lawlessness in the city.
“Take the case of David Olmos: [DA Garza] supported the release of the 8x convicted felon, who then went on a 10-day armed robbery spree,” tweeted citizen group Save Austin Now on Tuesday. “He would not have been free to commit these acts if Garza had not had him released on a recognizance bond (no bail, just a $40 processing fee).”
“Another case involved homicide after Garza let him out,” SAN continued. “Dedreuain Michael Reese, Jr., of Austin appears to be connected to both Garza policies, and to be the first homicide connected to them.”
Garza also recently dropped charges against gunmen suspects in a recent mass shooting in downtown Austin.
“This is a tactic being used by activist judges and prosecutors across the Nation, we need transparency by all elements of the criminal justice system,” tweeted former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. “The victims of crime and their families deserve better as do all the communities we strive to protect across the nation.”
Furthermore, County Attorney Delia Garza, whose office handles misdemeanor offenses, is also throwing them out by the hundreds. KVUE reported that from March through June, she rejected 543 misdemeanors—283 criminal trespassing charges, 75 drug-related charges, and 17 assaults causing bodily injury charges, among others.
Austin Police Department Commander Jeff Greenwalt said he and other officers are hearing that DA Garza’s policies—and similar policies across the nation—are emboldening criminals on the streets.
“What we’re hearing now from the criminals themselves and a lot of the confidential informants is they know they’re not being held accountable and know their competitors in the drug trades are carrying guns, so they have to carry as well,” Greenwalt said. “It’s kind of a domino effect that has started with no fear of any sort of punishment from the criminal justice system. We have a dual-pronged problem of releasing violent offenders, and the bail reform push for PR bonds.”
DA Garza and his office, despite only being in office since January, have already been enflamed in controversy and corruption allegations—including when Garza’s second in command was “looking to prosecute police officers” and when they allegedly demanded an assistant attorney destroy evidence.
Concerned citizens may contact the DA’s office.