News & Politics

Austin Sheriff Who Opposed SB4 Lost State Grant for Her Officers' Body Armor

(Getty Images)

Last month, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez was still refusing to apply for a grant from the state to purchase new body armor for her officers. The grant would only be issued if the applicants signed a pledge to hold arrested illegal immigrants for deportation by ICE.

Hernandez claimed she was simply holding off on signing the pledge because of SB4, a Texas law that passed in 2016 but was held up under appeal. SB4 would require departments to do exactly what the pledge stated — honor those ICE detainers.

Hernandez said she’d sign the pledge if SB4 was upheld. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw noted last month, her stance was absurd:

What’s the logic behind that? There’s nothing stopping any LEOs from honoring ICE detainers without that law in effect. It’s only after the law is enacted that the letter would be essentially pointless.

This can’t be blamed on the court case because there would be nothing stopping the Sheriff from signing that letter now except for her desire to #RESIST.

Exactly. If SB4 was struck down, Hernandez still could honor all ICE detainers. She just didn’t wanna.

Well, SB4 has since been upheld.

But she missed out on the grant, and her officers did not have protection against high-caliber rounds in the interim. So Travis County was on the hook for $287,000 to buy the needed vests.

This week, Hernandez asked county commissioners for the money. As Fox7 reports, she again used her irrational argument for not signing the pledge:

“SB4 was still being litigated and it just prevented us … it disqualified us from the grants,” Hernandez said.

But Hernandez was actually the “it” in her statement.

However, she had County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on her side. Said Eckhardt:

The Travis County family is really shaking out the couch cushions and looking for every kind of efficiency to meet our needs even in the face of a state that continues to back further and further away from appropriately funding what we do for the state.

That wasn’t the case, and both Judge Eckhardt and Sheriff Hernandez know it. Their comments hid Hernandez’s preference that she not be forced to comply with federal immigration law by the state. Federal law that would trump SB4, anyway.

Hernandez just bilked her constituents out of tax money they had already paid to the state, and left her officers vulnerable to death when better technology was available. All so she, the county’s top law enforcement officer, could play #Resist by not enforcing the law.