Co-host of weekend street takeover event comments amid contentious police labor contract negotiations
AUSTIN, Texas - The co-host of Saturday night’s "Lonestar Show," or street takeover, said he didn’t mean to get in the middle of a political showdown, but their actions caused chaos at intersections across Austin which has intensified the already complex talks about the city and the police department’s labor contract.
"It has nothing to do with politics. It’s got nothing to do with race. It’s going nothing to do with any sort of city leader, city policy, anything like that. All that it has to do with is we just wanted to go out and have some fun," the co-host of the event said.
"I believe they’ve given the city over to the Austin Justice Coalition and that’s what you get," Former Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said on KLBJ The Todd & Don Show.
The co-host of the event said they’ll be back in Austin because, "the cops can’t catch us."
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"You have all these resources and you’re telling me you only caught two people. Now that’s what the community should be upset about. They should be upset that they’re wasting time, wasting valuable money and resources that could be allocated elsewhere," the co-host said.
Videos show cars doing donuts, people throwing fireworks at a cop car, girls hanging out of cars, and people on fire. Austin PD said one officer was taken to the hospital.
"I just wanted to put out there that we're not bad people. We're not trying to hurt anyone. We're not trying to harm anyone. We don't want to hurt the police," the co-host said.
The Austin Police Association blamed Austin policymakers on Twitter and said they’re "directly responsible for the overall safety of their citizens and visitors." They went on and said, "Looks like they failed to make the right decisions and continue to defund, destroy, and demoralize public safety."
This comes as City Council declined to vote on a new four-year contract with them, they were offered a one-year deal, and APA walked away.
Mayor Kirk Watson said the Police Association’s tweet is false and that they "wrongly conflated the incident with important conversations about safety and oversight." He said he welcomes the Police Association back to the negotiating table to discuss a one-year contract.
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"The Austin Police Association wants to blame the city for anything that happens while in fact they are the ones who walked away, ignored an offer for a great deal in order to not face the voters and may not accept stronger police oversight," Treasurer of Equity Action Kathy Mitchell said.
The co-host of the event said leaders are leveraging the event for their own benefit.
"My response to city leaders who are upset about it; stop pretending to be upset about things for your constituents. You don’t actually care. You don’t, you’re just here to advance your career in politics. It’s a talking point for them," the co-host said.
The current contract expires on March 31.