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Austin’s Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza Sets New Course in Gang Cases, Ties Hands of Prosecutors

By Every Texan

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Not one individual in local Austin politics is speaking out against Travis County activist District Attorney Jose Garza’s radical move to let the juvenile Sixth Street shooters off the hook for carrying out the second largest mass shooting in the city’s history.  With the city’s relatively new, Bernie Sanders-endorsed district attorney, Austinites should be concerned about how a radical shift in prosecuting for the now defunct Live Music Capital of the World would have immediate implications. Austin already has 44 murders to date.  Austin is well on pace to smash 2020’s record breaking numbers, and all we are getting from these anti-police advocates is denial and excuses.

It is no surprise that Garza let these gun-toting, juvenile rival gang members off. This isn’t just a typical case of administrative shake-up. Rather, it is a dangerous and disruptive move that does a grave disservice to victims and the community. Some have pointed to Garza’s lack of experience as an excuse for his reckless actions – he has never prosecuted a case. The truth, though, is far more sinister.

Prior to his November 2020 election as district attorney, Garza was the co-executive director for the Workers Defense Project, a nonprofit that seeks to overthrow U.S. (federal) immigration laws in favor of illegal aliens, meaning the proliferation and organization of sanctuary cities in Texas. This includes refusing to work with local ICE officials and working to abolish them (“abolish ICE”) and the abolish/end-of-policing movement. In fact, Texas has 11 Mexican Consulate Offices. California has 10. Mexican Consulate Offices in the U.S. help Mexican citizens navigate the U.S. immigration system. In 2017, a new $50M 26,000-square-foot facility for the Mexican Consulate Office was built in Southeast Austin, housed in the former campus of Advanced Micro Devices, to accommodate services for more than 500 people a day.

As a public defender at the Texas-Mexico border, Garza has inexplicably found himself believing that he himself is the victim of a “broken” criminal justice system. Garza decided to run for district attorney after watching far-left progressive movements take hold in cities like Dallas and San Antonio. As a result, he is committed to radically transforming the “broken” criminal justice system in Travis County, one of Texas’ largest Democratic-stronghold counties.  “I saw the work that [District Attorney] John Creuzot was doing in Dallas, that [District Attorney] Joe Gonzales was doing in San Antonio, and I was disappointed that here in Austin, Texas, in Travis County, the most progressive community in Texas, that we weren’t at the forefront of that movement and we weren’t leading those efforts,” Garza said.

He believes that the U.S. criminal justice system is broken, and that we also have a “broken and inequitable education system,” a  “broken and inequitable health care system,” and “broken and inequitable mental health system.”

Garza also worked in the Barack Obama administration and led an organization here in Texas called Workers’ Defense Project, to advance radical policies and laws that empower illegal aliens, specifically, right at the Texas-Mexico border as a public defender. Recall Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, who was re-elected in November (2020), has also organized with Worker’s Defense Project.  Garza stated that “what I learned in the Obama administration and working with undocumented families at Workers’ Defense is the genuine, real power that regular people have to change their neighborhoods, their communities, and most certainly our broken criminal justice system. I learned that regular people know best what they need in their everyday lives, know best what they need for their own public safety.”

Garza has an intense sense of optimism in what is dubbed “re-imagining public safety.” Garza said that he would have never imagined back when he was a public defender “that there would be a movement across the country to reshape our criminal justice system and that movement would be happening inside district attorney’s offices.”

Garza added, “Over the last summer, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Travis County. And I think millions of people took to the streets across the country. I think we are starting to see the results of their efforts. It has resulted in people like me winning elections in November of last year. We saw reform prosecutors win in Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan. And we have started to see real results nationally with the prosecution of Mr. [Derek] Chauvin [the white Minnesota police officer charged with murdering George Floyd]. We’ve started to see local officials at the city really thinking about how best to use our resources to achieve public safety.”

Garza seeks to end the prosecution of crimes: “As you know, on March 1st we implemented a bail policy that asked our prosecutors to ensure that no one is in jail simply because they cannot afford to get out. Our policy prioritizes the safety of our community and our prosecutors have been working hard to re-evaluate open cases according to that community safety framework instead of a wealth-based system.”

Instead of handcuffing criminals, Garza is handcuffing the prosecutorial process and Lady Justice herself. Garza is inline with a national effort to cripple his department’s prosecutorial ability in advancing a radical ideology that’s focused on completely redesigning the city’s – and the nation’s – criminal justice system. This dangerous reality is also being peddled by a new brand of Bernie-endorsed Democrats across the country. And, worse yet, the ideology is seemingly inspired by American communist revolutionaries who gained notoriety during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The institutional knowledge possessed by someone like former Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore, the incumbent who conceded to Garza in the Democratic primary runoff, was irreplaceable. Criminal organizations and their operations are often very complex, especially in a metropolitan area such as Austin. With prosecutor’s hands tied – those who have a deep understanding of the various syndicates and the players within them – lawful prosecution of crimes becomes tremendously more difficult, allowing real criminals to walk away free. Why are people in local government not condoning the radical left actions without the slightest pushback? Allowing juveniles to have gunfights on Sixth Street is the wrong direction for the City of Austin. As this war on law and order continues to devolve, more and more people are falling victim to gang violence.  Under Garza, the days of Austin, Texas becoming a safe city have come to an abrupt halt.

 Video credit: @KoskionFOX7

Garza’s far-left, radical, DSA policies have no business in Austin. Socialists like this are ruining the Democrat Party. Releasing juveniles involved in a mass shooting who also had weapons on them is not in the best interest of the Austin community. 

Family of slain Austin mass shooting victim, Douglas John Kantor, has ‘no faith’ in the investigation or the Travis county justice system. Nick Kantor, whose brother Douglas Kantor died after the June 12 incident on Sixth Street, said he has little faith in DA Garza – and believes the investigation is heading in the wrong direction. “Basically, what I took away from the press conference was that they are not prosecuting violent criminals anymore,” Kantor said.

“It’s absurd they are giving these guys a pass,” said Larry Lightner, Doug’s uncle. “Granted, they want the murderer, but these guys are as much as part of the shooting as the guy they are telling me is the only one who was pulling the trigger.”

“If I go to Texas, I can now expect to be shot? Is that the idea? By a 15-year-old and he can leave and go do his homework?” Lightner told KXAN’s Alex Caprariello in a Tuesday interview. “… I’m not having it that these other two kids were sitting around eating ice cream…”

Douglas Kantor died from his injuries just after 12 p.m. on Sunday June 13 at the age of 25. He was from New York. In addition to Kantor, 14 other people were injured in the incident.

Garza said he plans to charge White, who investigators believe fired most of the shots, with murder. The district attorney said a special team of investigators, dedicated to murder and other major crimes, will be working with APD during the investigation.

It’s not just current cases that Garza is under fire for. An Austin father is fighting a potential plea deal in his son’s 2018 murder.

Joshua Hardesty, 26, was shot and killed in September 2018 in North Austin. The person arrested for Hardesty’s murder was also charged in another murder that occurred in November 2018. Now Hardesty’s father says he’s fighting against the defendant getting a plea deal. (Photo courtesy: Clifford Hardesty)

Joshua Hardesty, 26, was shot and killed in September 2018 in North Austin. The person arrested for Hardesty’s murder was also charged in another murder that occurred in November 2018. Now Hardesty’s father says he’s fighting against the defendant getting a plea deal.

In November of 2018 Isaac Jerome Thomas, now 26, was charged with Hardesty’s murder and the Capital Murder of another man, Tony Lamar Huggins.

Nearly three years later Clifford is still seeking justice for his son. He said he got a call from the district attorney’s office earlier this month (June 2021) letting him know they were offering Thomas a plea agreement that would reduce the Capital Murder charge to murder and could one day make Thomas eligible for parole.

In April 2021, the district attorney’s office published a letter outlining sentencing guidelines. The 13-page document says every case is treated differently and includes a flow chart to help prosecutors “think through prosecutorial discretion.” The document also includes sentencing reforms aimed at addressing “mass incarceration” and “responsibly reducing over-incarceration.”

The Austin Police Department said the first two people arrested, 17-year-old Jeremiah Roshaun Leland James Tabb and a 15-year-old juvenile did have weapons and were part of rival groups from Killeen. “We respect the DA’s decision. He has to make decisions based on what he thinks is going to put forward the best case in the end,” said Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon. “I also want to make sure people understand that these two individuals were involved,” he said.

Douglas John Kantor, d. Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 1:24 a.m. 400 block of E. 6th St, Case 21-1630114

The Sixth Street shooting was the second largest mass shooting in Austin’s history since Charles Whitman in August 1, 1966, and two of the perpetrators have already been set free. What part of unlawful possession of firearms by juveniles of the Texas Penal code is being blatantly waived and to what end? The legal age to have a gun in Texas is 18. When pressed about if dropping the charges was in the best interest of the community, Garza said it was in the best interest of the case. What sort of crime is Garza willing to prosecute if it does not fit his radical ideology? Garza is exactly the kind of candidate Bernie – who has his own checkered past supporting communist dictators who dismantled their nation’s democracy and set their country on the path to its current state of socialism-induced economic collapse abroad – has been championing all over the U.S.

In 2018, one of Bernie’s most high-profile endorsements was of Andrew Gillum, the Democrat candidate for Governor of Florida. Bernie’s support propelled Gillum to a major upset in the Democratic primary. Gillum, who campaigned frequently alongside Sanders, signed the “Freedom Pledge” by a radical group whose extended statement on racial injustice calls for defunding prisons and police and proclaims “police were never meant to protect and serve me and you.” (Gillum has denied embracing its full agenda even though he and many others push forward anyway.)

Since losing the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Bernie has waged a proxy war in Democratic primaries across the nation to nurture his radical agenda. Bernie continues to make himself his own champion on the campaign trail. Seemingly, he has always come out as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. That should give every American pause.

Americans who think Bernie could never implement the policies of his comrades in California and around the country at the federal level are wrong. They came less than half a percentage point away from victory in Florida and Georgia about two cycles ago.

As President Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” He was right, because the road to communism is paved by the apathy of free people.

For criminals, actions should have consequences. That was true in 2020 at the ballot box when voters were provided a choice between protecting law and order or protecting criminals. Judge for yourself where this went.

How long can Austin remain a desirable destination as the crime and murder rates climb?  Austin has always had a higher standard of handling crime and keeping its citizens safe. It is time to vote for politicians who care about all the citizens living in the city.  Without a doubt, Garza’s committed to radically transforming Austin’s criminal justice system to it’s demise. The defund the police movement is simply a vehicle for anti-American activists to weaken cities.  It is time for those people who are supporting it to come back to the reality that they, too, do not want to be victims of crime either.

Austin Mayor Adler set a new standard for gaslighting on June 23 GMA3: What You Need To Know – Good Morning America. Adler has the nerve to say Austin’s soaring crime is “obviously not tied to local policies,” because it’s “happening everywhere”. LIAR! It’s happening in Democrat-led cities who Defunded the Police.

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After Mayor Adler’s defunding the Austin Police Department by $150M move, he said, “Those things I think all will make our city safer.”

Questioned about tourism concerns, Mayor Adler mentions shootings in other cities, says it’s not the fault of local government (when it is local Austin government administration that is implementing these very policies). “Something else is going on”.  Mayor Adler still claims that Austin is still one of the safest cities.

President Joe Biden wants cities to use American Rescue Plan funding to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime. Austin received more than $230M in funding already. Most of it has already been spent or earmarked by local City of Austin government.

Time for Austin to heed the warnings from the failings of Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.  We have a special city that people are flocking to, because it is still relatively safe in comparison to other big cities.  It is time for Austin politicians to start working towards preserving the built up equity of the city before it is too late.  As Austin spirals into becoming another insane, far left, radical, activist-led cautionary tale, it is important for Austinites to decide whether they want to be part of this sinking ship.  Now is the time to make a change if we want to avoid what has happened to so many other great big US cities that have already gone down this path.

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