San Antonio activist advocates for police reform legislation at state Capitol

Activist hopes criminal justice bills can mark a ‘new stage’ in civil rights era

The George Floyd Act is comprised of several bills that could deal with police reform. The name of the bill was dedicated to Floyd, a Houston man who was killed by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. West said the massive package of bills were separated to give them a chance to pass.

San Antonio – Josey Garcia, one of the leaders of local grassroots group Reliable Revolutionaries, has taken her activism to the Texas Capitol.

Garcia spoke in support of multiple police reform bills. Although many of those bills have morphed or lagged behind, she said this is just the beginning of a new stage of the civil rights era.

“We’re very optimistic we can have sustainable change in our community, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” she said.

Garcia said she now has a better understanding of the hurdles that change and reform has when it heads to a vote before lawmakers. She was there to represent those impacted by police community decision.

“It was really eye opening and rewarding to uplift the voices of those families from San Antonio who these laws will directly affect the way policing is done in our community,” Garcia said.

The George Floyd Act is comprised of several bills that could deal with police reform. The name of the bill was dedicated to Floyd, a Houston man who was killed by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. West said the massive package of bills were separated to give them a chance to pass.

“We wanted to make sure there was substance over reform,” West said. “We’ve been able to move some bills, the first bill that has passed authored by me and sponsored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson was the duty to render aid that is now headed to the governors desk and we believe there will be other bills that will go also.”

Here’s a list of some of the bills related to criminal justice reform and their status:

  • HB88 : Relating to interactions between law enforcement and individuals detained or arrested on suspicion of the commission of criminal offenses, witnesses to the commission of those offenses, and other members of the public, to peace officer liability for those interactions, and to the confinement, conviction, or release of detained or arrested individuals. Left pending in committee 3/25/2021
  • HB 829 : Relating to a progressive disciplinary matrix for police officer misconduct in certain municipalities. Referred to jurisprudence 5/14/2021
  • HB 830: Relating to law enforcement policies regarding the issuance of citations for misdemeanors punishable by fine only and to a limitation on the authority to arrest a person for certain fine-only misdemeanors. Referred to jurisprudence 5/14/2021
  • HB 834 : Relating to requiring the corroboration of certain testimony in a criminal case involving a controlled substance. No action taken in committee 5/21/2021
  • SB2212 : Relating to the duty of a peace officer to request and render aid for an injured person. Headed to governor’s desk.
  • SB 68 : Relating to a duty for peace officers to intervene and make a report when a peace officer uses excessive force. Placed on General State Calendar, 5/25/2021
  • SB69 : Relating to prohibiting peace officers from using neck restraints during a search or arrest. Placed on General State Calendar 5/24/2021
  • HB3712: Relating to the training of and policies for peace officers. Co-sponsor authorized 5/24/2021
  • SB1545 Relating to the use of force by peace officers and other officer interactions and duties. Referred to jurisprudence 3/24/2021
  • HB 1900 : Relating to municipalities that adopt budgets that defund municipal police departments. Headed to Governor’s Desk.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.