Sign up for the Austonia daily newsletter
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

(Vic Hinterlang/Shutterstock)

Protesters blocked I-35 in weeks of summer protests.

A majority of the charges related to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer will be dropped.


County Attorney David Escamilla, set to retire at the end of this year, told the Austin Chronicle that none of the dropped cases were violent.

"Unless there's any aggravating factors, we just reject, and so that's what we've done," he said.

The decision affects 104 protestors out of the 178 arrested during the demonstrations this summer, most of who were arrested for low-level offenses like obstructing a highway, Escamilla said. That charge is normally a class B misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Escamilla does not have authority over all arrests. Some 51 protestors arrested over the summer were charged with both felony and misdemeanor offenses, putting them in the hands of District Attorney-elect Jose Garza, who will decide what happens to them when he takes office in January.

Four protestors charged with misdemeanors had already pleaded guilty and took time served to get out of jail.

Escamilla is still deciding on 19 cases, the Chronicle reported, some of which involve property damage. "Anything could happen with those," he said. "They're just more complicated."

Charges will also be dropped in arrests stemming from the International Working Women's Day protest on March 8, as well as the May Day March on May 1.

Escamilla has held the office of county attorney for the past 17 years. He will be succeeded by former council member Delia Garza.

Popular

A mixed-use development known as Mirador will be located off the 130 Toll and Highway 71. (Hines)

A $500 million mixed-use development spanning 1,400 acres is coming to Southeast Austin, near Tesla’s headquarters at Giga Texas.

Keep Reading Show less

Former UT tennis coach Michael Center told Sports Illustrated he thinks others were involved in the Varsity Blues scandal at UT.

Editor's note: This story summarizes Sports Illustrated's story detailing Michael Center's involvement in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, based on interviews with SI's Jon Wertheim. Additionally, Austonia received comments from Michael Center, included in this story.

Confined to his couch, former Longhorns tennis coach Michael Center praised his players via FaceTime after the program he built produced the Longhorns’ first national championship in 2019—a bittersweet moment as Center faced federal charges as part of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal.

Keep Reading Show less