AUSTIN, Texas - Greg Casar, a council member with Austin City Council, is donating $1,200 he received from APA in campaign donations to the Austin Justice Coalition.
Earlier this week, Casar had signed a 'No Cash from Cops Pledge.' The pledge states that Casar will not accept any campaign contributors from police associations.
Austin Police Association Political Action Committee Chair Donald Baker responded to his pledge by writing to Casar. Baker wrote to 'respectfully request' he refund $1200 he received from the APA as campaign donations.
APA addressed the letter to Casar stating in part, "Your decisions are unfortunate and exhibit a negative attitude toward the honorable women and men who proudly wear the badge while providing public safety for the same community you are representing as an elected official."
The letter continued, stating that Austin Mayor Steve Adler and his Task Force on Institutional Racism indentified five key areas and asked whether council member Casar would also refrain from accepting campaign contributions from related associations.
"Will you be pledging not to accept campaign donations from associations related to those industries deemed to be influencers in perpetuating the systemic inequalities? Or are you only targeting those who volunteer to be apart of the policing profession?"
Casar responded on Twitter, stating that he will donate the funds he received from APA, as opposed to returning the money. Casar also stated that he originally donated $700 when he signed the 'No Cash for Cops Pledge' on June 16 to the Austin Justice Coalition. He said he was unaware of the additional $500, which he noted will also be donated to the coalition as well.
Williamson County Sherriff Chody also responded, stating that he would match the $1,200 if "that council member" returned the money.
The back and forth between Greg Casar and the Austin Police Association on Twitter is the latest public discourse between members of local governments and police associations amid the growing calls to defund the police.