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San Antonio City Councilman calls for defunding police

District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño released a statement after a city council meeting about the next collective bargaining agreement with the city's police union.

SAN ANTONIO — Editor's note: The above video was originally published on June 9.

Following Thursday's city council meeting regarding the next collective bargaining agreement with the San Antonio Police Officers Association, District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño called for defunding the police.

On Thursday afternoon, the San Antonio City Council delayed a vote on the structure of the new CBA until August to allow for further discussion at a time of national reckoning over racism and police brutality. Local protests have focused on San Antonio men killed by police, and the city's agreement with the police union has come under increased scrutiny.

"We must take action and defund the police," Treviño said in a statement. "Those funds must be reallocated into social services that support our community. We have an opportunity to make changes to the upcoming bargaining contract agreement. Change can happen the moment we take action and this action is long overdue."

Members of the community raised their fists chanted "Black Lives Matter" at the meeting, and some elected officials joined them.

Here is Treviño's statement on the issue:

“Today, we heard the frustration of those from our POC community. They spoke their truth about experiences that are unique to them. I won’t ever try to say I truly understand the fear and anxieties that are felt by our Black community; however, it is my responsibility to stand for them, with them, and push to ensure that their lives matter and are protected. Safety should not be selective. It should not be a privilege that is only had by some. The color of our constituents’ skin should not determine the type of interaction they will have with our police force. We need to do better. We need to take action.

“This resolution does not fully address the depth of healing that is needed, nor does it provoke any action. The passage of this resolution will not heal the years of damage and oppression that has been felt by people of color, but it is a start. Our community expects us to do something and we should not sit behind our privilege and sit on the dais idle. We must use our platform to act. We must take action and Defund the police. Those funds must be reallocated into social services that support our community. We have an opportunity to make changes to the upcoming bargaining contract agreement. Change can happen the moment we take action and this action is long overdue. The resolution presented today has gaps of information and lacks a prescription of action that would ensure real accountability.

"I’m happy that we are postponing the consideration of this resolution. We need to be mindful of the steps we take to offer solutions with actions that will make a meaningful impact in our community. I look forward to continuing this conversation in a B Session in August, after more robust public engagement and participation. I will continue listening to the community I serve between now and then. There is work to be done; but we need to be thoughtful in how we move forward. The resolution presented today is a good start, nonetheless we need more answers and actions outlined that represent what our community is asking of us to consider.

"Actions speak louder than words. We need to start taking a stand and remind ourselves of our responsibility of being inclusive representatives to our communities. Black Lives Matter and it’s time to reassess the contract and defund the police.”

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