April 17, 2020
IN RESPONSE TO THE SAN MARCOS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION’S STATEMENT ON CITE & RELEASE, COMMUNITY LEADERS HAVE RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:
“Earlier this month, the San Marcos Police Officers Association sent a letter to San Marcos city council threatening to end the practice of issuing verbal warnings in all instances when the proposed Cite & Release Ordinance passes. The San Marcos Police Officers Association is attempting to bully San Marcos City Council into voting against a policy that has been proven to positively impact life outcomes for young people across the United States by keeping low-level offenders out of the Hays County Jail.
By threatening to “enter everyone into the Criminal Justice System” (per the words of the association’s President, Jesse Saavedra,) if officer discretion is limited by a cite and release ordinance, the San Marcos Police Officers Association is attempting to intimidate the residents they were sworn to protect. We hope such a punitive stance, and the suggestion that officers will stop all verbal warning based street-level diversion if this policy passes, is rejected by the Current Interim Police Chief Bob Klett. Agreement with such an unprecedented position is gravely concerning as it regards the safety of San Marcos residents against unnecessary criminalization.
By keeping San Marcos residents out of jail for certain misdemeanor offenses, they are able to show up for work, attend class, and be home with their families. We are deeply disappointed by the stance that the San Marcos Police Officers Association has taken in the 11th hour on an ordinance that has been discussed by city council and community advocates for over a year. We will not allow the San Marcos Police Department to threaten our community and are deeply concerned with the actions of those sworn to protect the city of San Marcos.”
MOVE Texas is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, grassroots organization building power in underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development, and issue advocacy.
Mano Amiga is a grassroots outfit based in Hays County, Texas, championing racial justice and a serious rehaul to the criminal legal system.
Texas Rising is a project of the Texas Freedom Network, builds the power of a rising generation of young Texans, with an emphasis on communities of color, by advocating for change in the cities and towns where they live, and at the ballot box.