Report shows San Marcos police didn't cite-and-release any black people in 2018

A local activist organization is calling on San Marcos police to evaluate cite-and-release policies. 

Under state law, officers are able to write a summons to appear in court instead of arresting people for several misdemeanor crimes. 

A report released by Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe shows cite-and-release was not used for any black people in the city in 2018. Instead, all of them were arrested. 

"There's no justification for these numbers at all. It shows an implicit bias," said Faylita Hicks who works with community activist organization Mano Amiga. 

A Hays County report shows black people were charged with 72 misdemeanors in San Marcos in 2018. In every one of those cases, an arrest was made even though they were eligible to be cited and released. 

"Out of 332 cite-and-release eligible offenses, only 20 people actually received cite and release, and then, out of that, there were no black people included, which was a little disturbing," Hicks said. 

In 2010, Hicks was put in jail for a misdemeanor crime after her $25 check to a grocery store bounced. 

"It was a class B misdemeanor and, so, I would've been cited and released on the initial arrest, but that's not what happened," she said.  

Hicks spent the next 45 days in jail, but even after walking out the front door, her life wasn't ever the same. 

"Once you are arrested and you have that on your record, you now have that working against you when it comes to applying to jobs, when it comes to wanting to work in your community at all," said Hicks.  

Now, she works with Mano Amiga to fight for others who may face a similar situation.

"These people who make minor mistakes are going to end up in our jail, which is a problem because we're already overcrowded," Hicks said.  

Hicks said the report, compiled by the county statistician, proved what she has always known to be true. 

"I am definitely going to be more at risk walking out with my friends downtown, to be picked up and put in jail, then say, my friends who are not black, who are not Latinx," said Hicks.        

On Tuesday, Hicks, Mano Amiga and members of the community plan to hold a rally at City Hall asking council to encourage a more comprehensive cite and release policy in San Marcos. The rally begins at 5:30 p.m. at San Marcos City Hall. 

"Cite and release saves the county money, it saves the county stress on trying to take care of all these people and, honestly, it saves the lives of the people who are being held pre-trial for long periods of time in the jail," Hicks said. 

San Marcos police have yet to respond to requests for a comment on the report.