Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who had already committed to sign a bill that would make it more difficult for cities to defund police, stated bluntly to Fox News’ Harris Faulkner what he planned to do to cities defunding police, asserting, “We are going to defund the city.”
Faulkner noted that Abbott had announced that he would sign a bill that would make it harder for cities to defund their police departments. She pointed out that Abbott’s statement would put him at odds with Democrat-led cites such as Austin, where police took 16 minutes to respond to a 911 call about a shooting on Sunday morning.
Response times will only get worse. A large department cannot go 2 years with out hiring more officers to keep up with a city the size of Austin, especially when it's crime rates keep going up. https://t.co/epmTvojs4K
— Justin Berry (@realJustinBerry) May 23, 2021
Abbott responded to the news of the delayed response by tweeting, “This is what defunding the police looks like. Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head. Texas won’t tolerate this. We’re about to pass a law—that I will sign—that will prevent cities from defunding police. Sanity & safety will return.”
This is what defunding the police looks like.
Austin is incapable of timely responding to a victim shot in the head.
Texas won't tolerate this.
We're about to pass a law-that I will sign-that will prevent cities from defunding police.
Sanity & safety will return. https://t.co/UtQVoUXzBL
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 24, 2021
Faulkner prompted, “Governor Abbott, good to have you on the program. Those words that you spoke about sanity and safety. That’s not just a promise from you. It sounds much stronger than that.”
“The reason it’s stronger is because — as you pointed out — I’m about to sign a law that will ensure that cities in the state of Texas will not be able to defund police,” Abbott asserted. “First, the context, and that is, as you pointed out, what’s going on in Minneapolis, where it is both a tragedy and a disaster of what’s going on for the residents of Minneapolis because of the defunding of police. You’ve seen the same thing in Portland and Seattle and Chicago and New York, etc.”
“Harris, unfortunately, we had the same thing happen here in the state of Texas, where the city of Austin defunded police, which is why you saw that tragic situation reported in Austin, Texas,” he continued. “And because Austin defunded police, we wanted to do two things in this session: one, we wanted to make sure that there were going to be consequences for the city of Austin; the second is we wanted to make sure that no other city in the state of Texas would defund police.”
“So here’s what we’re doing in the state of Texas to put teeth into this law that provides real consequences for cities that do defund the police,” he explained. “One: we’re going to dry up their revenue sources in a way that basically will put the city out of business. What happens is residents should not be taxed —”
Faulkner interjected, “So you’re going to defund the city?”
“We are going to defund the city,” Abbott answered. “We are going to prohibit cities from being able to annex in the future, but also allow people who have been annexed for 30 years to be able to de-annex because they were annexed and they were paying money into the city for the purpose of being able to receive police protection. And then the last thing I’ll add to you, and that is the state of Texas Department of Public Safety, they will provide additional policing in the city of Austin. However, it will be the city of Austin sales tax revenue that will be paying for the state law enforcement to make sure that there will be safety and security in the city of Austin.”