Austin city council members accuse police of antisemitism for tweet on crime, Soros DA donations

Austin city council members accuse police of antisemitism for tweet on crime, Soros DA donations


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FIRST ON FOX: Members of the Austin City Council hurled accusations of antisemitism at the Texas city’s police department after the local police officer union sounded the alarm about surging crime across the country and billionaire financier George Soros‘ donations to Democratic district attorney candidates.

“Austin voters have embraced George Soros funded candidates and media campaigns against public safety,” the Austin Police Association tweeted on Dec. 4, 2021, along with a Fox News article outlining rising crime in cities led by officials funded by the Hungarian-born, liberal megadonor who has openly pushed for lax prosecuting guidelines. “Historic homicide rates in Austin and rising. Declining police force. Soros funded District Attorney with a weak record on reducing violent crime.”

Police Chief Joseph Chacon
(Austin Police Department)

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Hours later, in an email obtained by Fox News, liberal Austin City Council Member Alison Alter told Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon that she “interprets” the tweet as “antisemitic” and equated it with a number of clearly antisemitic stickers that had been posted in a local park. 

On Dec. 5, Donald Baker, secretary of the Austin Police Association and a commander in the Austin Police Department, responded to Alter and Council Member Leslie Pool on behalf of the police union, asking what specifically was antisemitic about the tweet and explained that the police association reached out to members of the Jewish community and were told nothing was offensive about the post. 

“Our members know what it means and how it feels personally to be the target of hate messaging, graffiti on public buildings, and vile protests associated with physical violence. We as the Austin Police Association do not participate in those types of activities nor do we condone them,” Baker wrote. “In fact, we are the group who has continually requested additional police resources to be able to properly address hate crimes, criminal mischief in parks and public roadways, or general disorder which leads to an increase in the fear of crime and social unrest throughout Austin.”

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Baker added that it is “extremely concerning” when elected officials make allegations of racism or antisemitism toward the police and that it would be “genuinely appreciated and appropriate if both of you provided an apology for what appears at this time to be an unwarranted defamation of our members and the Austin Police Association.”

Alter responded to Baker’s email by saying that the Austin Police Association’s tweet “risks making Jewish residents feel less safe” and is “further encouraging violence and hatred.” Alter also outlined several reasons why she feels the tweet is derogatory towards Jewish people. 

George Soros

“Your Tweet re-prints a common stereotype and scapegoating of a Jewish figure for problems in our city,” Alter wrote. “Your Tweet encourages anger toward Jews by singling out an allegedly conspiratorial Jewish man for undermining safety in our city. The evidence is overwhelming that the use of the ‘Soros’ figure to condemn policies is commonly and repeatedly antisemitic.”

Alter included three links from Vox, the Anti-Defamation League, and Forbes Business magazine that allege various “Soros driven conspiracies” and suggests that “a person who promotes a Soros conspiracy theory may not intend to promulgate antisemitism but Soros’ Jewish identity is so well-known that in many cases it is hard not to infer that meaning.”

Pool and Alter both voted in favor of slashing the police department’s funding in August 2020. 

Alter and Pool did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Fox News.

Soros has poured millions of dollars in recent years into political campaigns in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia, helping to elect district attorneys who are notorious for rolling back sentencing guidelines and allowing criminals awaiting trial to be released back onto the streets. 

Many of those cities, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis, have experienced new homicide records and violent crime spikes in recent years.

One of those political officials is Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, a Democrat, who took office in Austin in January 2021 after receiving over $500,000 from a Soros-backed nonprofit organization. 

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In Garza’s first year in office, Austin shattered its previous record for homicides in a year, and the police department, already short-staffed by the city council’s defunding and canceling of cate classes in 2020, was forced to stop responding to non-emergency calls, which left citizens to fend for themselves in some cases. 

Austin skyline

Austin skyline
(iStock )

Additionally, Garza’s office has been criticized for implementing lenient sentencing guidelines that have resulted in violent criminals being released back onto the streets despite facing charges of serious crimes.

As homicides and violent crime surges under Garza’s watch, Soros donated $500,000 in a successful effort to defeat a proposition that would have refunded some of the money and staff stripped from the police department by the city council.



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