News & Politics

Defunding the Police Claims its 41st Victim in Austin

Austin Mayor Steve Adler defends controversial homeless policy.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Greg Casar defunded the city’s police in the name of racial justice and equity.

Did they anticipate that their decision would result in a skyrocketing murder rate that disproportionately impacts the city’s minorities?

That’s what’s happening.

Austin suffered 47 homicides in all of 2020, which was the worst year for homicides in a decade. 2021, the year in which defunding the police kicked in, will surely surpass 2020’s total.

Two fatal shootings in Givens Park on the city’s east side this week push the 2021 homicide total to 41 so far.

The first shooting happened just after 8:15 p.m. Wednesday near Givens Park in east Austin. Police say 911 callers reported hearing shots fired; when officers arrived, they found a male victim in a car with multiple gunshot wounds. The man was transported to a nearby hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries; he was later pronounced deceased.

Police were called to a second scene off of East Meadow Bend Drive just before 3 a.m. Thursday. Officers found two males with multiple gunshot wounds; one was pronounced deceased on the scene, while the other was transported to Dell Seton and is undergoing surgery.

A fortnight earlier, Austin was horrified by a mass shooting on Sixth Street. One man, a tourist, was killed in the melee involving teens from Killeen, about 70 miles north, who recognized each other; one evidently opened fire. That shooter has been arrested in Killeen.

Officers with a fugitive task force took De’ondre White into custody Thursday afternoon on a warrant for the killing of 25-year-old Douglas John Kantor during the shooting on Austin’s 6th Street, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said in a statement. Prosecutors said they also intend to seek multiple aggravated assault charges against White.

“Aggravated assault” seems like a light charge given the fact that the shooter opened fire in a crowd of innocent people, killed one, and injured 13. Murder, or at the very least manslaughter, seems appropriate.

But Austin and Travis County have woke prosecutors who militate against the police and have a revolving door for criminals. They and the majority of the city council listen exclusively to far-left pro-criminal activists who never consider the impact of their policy preferences on public safety. They and the prosecutors share a common cause, it seems: “equity” over sanity.

Crime is exploding and is all but out of control in Austin. Police officers have been leaving in big numbers in 2021. The head of the Austin Police Association long ago suggested that officers refrain from proactive law enforcement because the majority of the city council do not have officers’ backs. All of this is taking a toll on the homicide rate.

Related: Austin City Hall Is Now Occupied by a Tent City With Machete-Wielding ‘Security’

Mayor Adler isn’t challenged on his decisions by any of the mainstream media, and continues going after law-abiding citizens’ right and ability to defend themselves.

Austin residents, as long as Steve Adler is the mayor and Jose Garza is the district attorney, you are very much on your own.