Residents voice frustrations during District 4 public safety town hall

“Your famous words are, ‘I promise to look into it,” resident tell DA Gonzales

SAN ANTONIO – Many angry and frustrated community members attended a District 4 town hall meeting on Monday night, hoping to get some answers from local leaders after five officers were shot over the past few weeks.

The residents who attended the meeting at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church said they’d like to see more progress in getting serious criminals to be held accountable for their crimes. Many showed up with a mission to be heard, and they were.

Much of the frustration in the town hall meeting was toward the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.

Some people who said they’d been unable to get the office to pay attention showed up to have a face-to-face with DA Joe Gonzales.

“I’ve been in constant contact with your office,” said Christopher Hernandez, who demanded answers from Gonazales on why his calls for an update about the murder of his loved one in early 2022 have not been returned and why no one has been held accountable.

“Your famous words are, ‘I promise to look into it. Three years later, I’m waiting for that call,” said the father of a man killed in 2020, who echoed the same frustration as Hernandez.

The parish hall was packed with people who wanted to hear from Gonzales and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus on why their communities are seeing violent crime trends.

Gonzales was able to answer questions about how the law works and how bail is set. The chief discussed the increase of 100-plus officers his department will soon get.

Both of them agreed that gun crime had increased since the open carry law was changed in Texas, which no longer requires a permit.

Many of those who attended the meeting were glad to have their anger and frustration finally voiced.

“I grew up in this community. I have a family here, and I’m sure a lot of other people feel the exact same way or at least hear what the community has to say,” said Norma Garza.

Alberto Chevera said, “They say don’t point fingers, I understand, but let’s find out who the finger should be pointed at. Up to now, I haven’t heard any answers.”

Those unable to attend the meeting will have another chance to attend a public safety town hall. District 7 will host its town hall on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Doris Griffin Senior Center. The chief and the DA are both expected to be there.


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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.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.