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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

State’s largest police union exposes secret Standing Court Order issued in Travis County ...

July 8, 2021 GMT

Austin, Texas, July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas released a document today proving the evidence it has long sought demonstrating the sudden reversal of the Texas Penal Code by Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza.

“Jose Garza has misused his official position of elected office. Taxpayers are unknowingly funding his whimsical journey of reimagining a Texas with criminals roaming the neighborhoods magically rehabilitating themselves and morphing from home invaders, armed robbers, drug offenders, and mass shooters.” Said Charley Wilkison, Executive Director of CLEAT.

The Standing Order states it shall be transmitted to the sheriff of Travis County and become effective immediately. The order was filed with the Travis County Clerk’s Office on March 15, 2021.

The document outlines that for all persons arrested for felony crimes, the Travis County District Courts determined that if the prosecuting agency responsible for pursuing felony criminal charges against arrested persons does not wish to prosecute, the arrested persons shall be released from the Travis County Booking Facility as described in the order.

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The order states that if the assistant district attorney reviews the affidavit and determines at their discretion to reject the charges, they will notify Travis County Sheriff’s Office personnel. The order states that an arrestee who meets the above criteria “shall be released on any charge……the order functions as a release card in all cases where the prosecutor has submitted the rejection of charges.

This order actively circumvents state law and the checks and balances of the criminal justice system.

“Jose Garza and the liberal lemmings inhabiting the benches of Travis County are on a mission to undermine the legislative process and create a criminal sanctuary in Austin,” said Wilkison. 

This order has put law enforcement officers and jailers in situations in which a suspect arrested for a felony is released back into the public before the arresting officer has even made it back into their assigned area after leaving the jail.

Prior to DA Jose Garza taking office, the common protocol was for an assistant district attorney, if available, to review an affidavit for sufficient probable cause, and reject only based on insufficient probable cause. The arrested person would later face a magistrate, where again, the affidavit would be reviewed for probable cause and bond would be set. This order allows for the arrestee to be released without being magistrate and regardless of sufficient probable cause that they did commit the felony offense.

“Jose Garza has unhitched himself from the two touchstones required to be an ethical prosecutor,” said Wilkison. “In his current political dream state, he no longer needs facts or the law. The public’s safety is endangered.”

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Texas’ reputation for safe communities is drawing people from all over the world to come here and make this their new home. That reputation of safe streets exists because the Texas state legislature enacts laws reflective of the citizens. No district attorney has the right to blanketly rewrite Texas laws, especially felony crimes that endanger the citizens,” said Wilkison. 

The Travis County district attorney has invited lawlessness, violence, and criminals into Travis County and has jeopardized public safety.

CLEAT intends to ask the governor to add this public safety crisis to the special session call, and we will be asking individual legislators to address this issue as well.

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Attachments


CLEAT Public Affairs The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas 5126097770 news@cleat.org