Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai continues to refuse to answer questions about recent string of police shootings

Sakai released his first statement on shootings Thursday, but has declined several interview requests

SAN ANTONIO – Over the past two weeks, several local and state leaders have spoken about the recent string of shootings involving San Antonio police -- except for Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai.

During a KSAT Q&A on Tuesday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he and Sakai have discussed the troubling trend.

“We both believe that this is not something that any of us should find acceptable,” Nirenberg said.

Sakai released a joint statement with Nirenberg Thursday afternoon saying the city and county plan to address the violence. But Sakai has refused to answer any questions himself.

Since Friday, KSAT has reached out to Sakai’s office four separate times.

On Wednesday, our crew waited at the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court meeting for five hours with no luck.

“He knows it’s a complicated issue, and he’ll do what he can,” spokesman Jim Lefko said on Wednesday. “If there’s a role for him to play, I’m sure he’ll be interested in playing it.”

KSAT reached out to Sakai’s office a fourth time on Thursday.

Lefko said Sakai was not available -- even for a five-minute interview.

“Is there a reason Judge Sakai does not want to talk about this?” asked reporter Daniela Ibarra. “He is the highest-ranking elected county official.”

Lefko wrote back, saying Sakai “is tied up with the nearly $3 billion budget we are finalizing in five days.”

“Just making sure I understood correctly – does Judge Sakai not have time to talk with us, or does he not want to talk about this major issue happening in the county he presides over?” Ibarra replied.

Lefko referred to the statement from Sakai and Nirenberg, but did not address the question.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Grant Moody made time during a trip to speak with KSAT Thursday afternoon about the string of shootings.

“It’s something that has to end,” Moody said. “We have to get a handle on it. We have to address it, we have to fix it.”

Moody said conversations about how to solve the violence have picked up over the past 24 hours.

“We can’t be soft on repeat offenders and violent criminals,” he said. “We need to make sure that, you know, we don’t put the wrong people in jail. But the folks that need to be in jail, who are violent offenders and repeat offenders, that they are in the jail, and that we keep them in jail.”

KSAT is still waiting for the opportunity to speak directly with Sakai.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

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