Congressman McCaul talks barricading himself in his office during the Capitol riots—and what happens now
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, spent the afternoon of Jan. 6 barricaded in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building, with a sofa and a baseball bat as protection against what he called the terrorists on the other side of the door.
"It was a really dark day for the United States," he told Austonia.
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Two Austin police officers have been indicted by a Travis County grand jury in connection with a violent arrest case that had been closed with no findings of wrongdoing two years ago.
The officers, Chance Bretches and Gregory Gentry, are indicted on charges of felony assault after the case was reopened by new District Attorney Jose Garza.
In a statement on Friday, Police Chief Brian Manley said the officers had been investigating a drug deal when the suspect resisted arrest and caused injury to the officers and himself. Manley has, however, placed officers Bretches and Gentry on leave as a result of the indictments.
In response to the charges, attorneys for the officers said in a statement that they are "gravely concerned that the judgment of the newly elected DA, whose experience consists of seven weeks, is that both officers committed first-degree felonies punishable by life in prison."
The last time an APD officer was indicted in an excessive use-of-force case was in 2018.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Luke Manchester, of Austin, died Jan. 20, in a non-combat related incident, according to the Department of Defense.
Manchester was 34 years old and supporting Operation Spartan Shield when he died in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, Camp Mabry, Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's public safety priorities for the current legislative session include making it "fiscally impossible" for municipalities to defund their police departments and a statewide plan to address homelessness that will include a ban on public camping. Both are clear rebukes to recent policy changes enacted by local elected officials.
"We cannot and will not allow Austin to defund the police," Abbott said during a press conference on Thursday. "Texas must set the example for the United States of America, not only to support law enforcement but to fully fund law enforcement agencies."
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