As special interests groups often do during the Texas legislative session, a handful of police unions set up an "educational" website aimed at making their case to lawmakers.
The unions are hoping their Texas Police Facts
will help sway members of the Lege against enacting the flood of bills this session calling for law-enforcement reform, including the George Floyd Act
. And, in trying to make their case, the unions list a series of "FACTS" (upper case theirs) on the site to show everything's just fine
Despite the billing as all-caps FACTS, the Grits for Breakfast
blog — which takes an unvarnished look at Texas criminal justice issues — found the site loaded with misrepresentations
. Imagine that!
Grits identified half a dozen "alternative facts" on the page, but this sampling includes some of the most noteworthy:
- Texas Police Facts claims police departments in the state "CAN get rid of bad cops." Grits' reply: "Somebody tell that to the San Antonio Police Department, where 70% of cops fired get reinstated through arbitration, including a guy who fed a sandwich made of feces to a homeless man as a 'joke.'" Sounds familiar, no?
- "Claims that minorities are substantially more likely to be contacted by the police are inaccurate," the page also states. Yet, Grits points out, the Department of Justice brief linked as evidence doesn't back that up.
- The site's "Resources" page links to a study arguing that police exhibit no bias in shootings. That report was later retracted for inadequate methodology and overstated conclusions, according to Grits.
Sounds like Texas lawmakers would be well advised to dig deeper before they trust Texas Police Facts to deliver on what its name promises.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.