Group claims police union threatened petitioners looking to change SAPD

Press conference will also discuss allegations of SAPD involvement in insurrection

The San Antonio Coalition for Police Accountability says it plans to refute what it calls “false claims” allegedly made by the San Antonio Police Officers Association at a news conference Saturday.
The San Antonio Coalition for Police Accountability says it plans to refute what it calls “false claims” allegedly made by the San Antonio Police Officers Association at a news conference Saturday.

SAN ANTONIO – Members of group whose say their goal is to hold bad San Antonio police officers accountable want to refute what they say are “false claims” about them.

The San Antonio Coalition for Police Accountability says it plans to call out the San Antonio Police Officers Association at a press event set for Saturday.

Coalition members said SAPOA lied about a campaign to change SAPD and claims the police union has engaged in illegal activities that could result in federal investigations.

Mario Marcel Salas, chairperson of the group, is speaking up for Fix SAPD, a different nonprofit with a similar mission to reform and improve officer discipline when it comes to misconduct.

Fix SAPD is currently campaigning to gather enough signatures from citizens to revoke two laws that they say weaken officer accountability. Salas said SAPOA is trying to sabotage the campaign with bad publicity.

“Things were said about their petitioners, they were from out of town and all that. And I personally know these people that are all from San Antonio,” Salas said.

Salas said SAPOA has falsely claimed Fix SAPD was being funded by dark money, and that their petitioners were threatening people. Instead, Salas claims it’s SAPOA that has intimidated Fix SAPD workers and citizens.

“It was just the opposite that was taking place. So it may come down to an FBI investigation against those police officers that were harassing the petitioners, and not the other way around,” Salas said.

Salas said he is also worried about alleged connections between some SAPD officers and the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“We are concerned about reports that they travel, that they traveled to the Capitol during the riot,” Salas said.

Salas said he is planning to go into further detail about the alleged reports on Saturday morning during a 10 a.m. press conference.

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About the Authors:

Deven Clarke is the crime and justice reporter for KSAT12.