The far-left district attorney for Travis County, Texas, which encompasses the capital city of Austin, has dropped all charges against the organizer of a left-wing protest that shutdown proceedings in the Texas House earlier this week.
According to local NBC affiliate KXAN, District Attorney Jose Garza dropped the assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and disrupting a public meeting charges against Texas Freedom Network (TFN) organizing director Adri Pérez after he was arrested at the state Capitol on Tuesday while protesting against a bill that would ban child gender surgery.
TFN is a far-left progressive organization that operates in the state, and describes itself as a “nonpartisan, grassroots organization.”
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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, halted a planned vote on the bill, which had already passed the state Senate, and asked state police to clear the gallery of chanting protestors.
The protestors continued to chant in the lobby after being cleared from the gallery before being ushered through the building. Some protestors then engaged in a physical altercation with police, leading to one individual being detained. It was not immediately clear whether this individual was Pérez.
Following the disruption, Phelan took to Twitter to blast the protestors, referring to their “outbursts” as “a breach of decorum.” When reached by Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for Phelan declined to comment on the dropped charges despite them including an assault on a law enforcement officer.
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Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s office referred the question of Garza dropping the charges back to the other chamber’s leadership. “This is a question for the House. The Senate passed SB14 without any issues in the gallery,” his office said. The Texas lieutenant governor presides over the Senate when the legislature is in session.
Garza has become increasingly known for his office’s lenient treatment of criminals, while at the same time taking a harsher approach toward the treatment of law enforcement officers. He campaigned on a promise to prosecute police while running for the job. A local news investigation in 2021 found that Garza reduced and dismissed charges against accused offenders at a fast pace – hundreds of cases in just a few months, according to the KVUE report.
Last year, he indicted 19 officers from the Austin Police Department their roles in quelling the violent 2020 riots following the death of George Floyd, which resulted in significant damage to the Texas Capitol building. Those officers had previously been cleared of wrongdoing by the police department following the riots.
Garza’s office did not immediately to respond to Fox’s request for comment on why the charges against Pérez were dropped.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.
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