Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro backs proposition to limit police union's bargaining power

click to enlarge Julian Castro's statement on Prop B amounts to the highest-profile emdorsement of the ballot measure. - GAGE SKIDMORE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
Julian Castro's statement on Prop B amounts to the highest-profile emdorsement of the ballot measure.
In what amounts to the highest-profile endorsement of the local ballot measure to strip collective bargaining power from San Antonio's powerful police union, former mayor Julián Castro has endorsed Proposition B.

In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, Castro — a former Democratic presidential candidate and the Obama White House's housing chief — said he supports police and their work but added that they must be held accountable.

He said Prop B, which voters will decide on during the May 1 citywide election, is a way to achieve that.

"Our system of accountability is broken," he said. "In fact, 70% of SAPD officers fired by the police chief have to be rehired because our accountability system is so bad — the worst rehire rate of bad officers in the nation."

Senior Castro advisor Sawyer Hackett shared the video via his Twitter account.

Fix SAPD, the group that petitioned to get Prob B on the ballot, argues that the union has used the collective bargaining process to force too many concessions protecting officers who engage in violent conduct. Proposal backers say the union and city should shift to a "meet and confer" system used in other large Texas metros.

For its part, the union has alleges that Fix SAPD's measure amounts to an effort by activists to "defund the police," a catchphrase used by some police-reform groups that's proved unpopular with Texas voters.

Castro tweeted his video endorsement of Prop B a day after a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Black man Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. The officer, Kim Potter, is a 26-year force veteran who once served as that city's police union president.

"I'm all for paying officers what they deserve, but accountability for bad officers doesn't belong at the bargaining table," Castro said in his endorsement. "When bad officers act out, they should face the consequences, and that should be non-negotiable."

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