Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D), who defunded the police in 2020 following the Black Lives Matter movement, was seen asleep at the funeral of slain police officer Anthony “Tony” Martin on Monday.
Officer Martin, a 20-year Air Force veteran, joined the Austin Police Department in 2006 and served the city until his death on the night of September 23 when he crashed his police motorcycle on his way back home from the night shift.
The funeral took place in North Austin where hundreds of local, county, and state first responders attended, including city officials like Mayor Adler, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
During the hour-long procession, however, the Democrat mayor was captured in a photo falling asleep. The photo was later posted on Twitter with the following caption: “If you're going to defund and destroy a police department as their mayor then attend a highly respected officer's funeral, perhaps do not continue to disrespect that officer's family, friends, and other officers by falling asleep.”
If you're going to defund and destroy a police department as their mayor then attend a highly respected officer's funeral, perhaps do not continue to disrespect that officer's family, friends, and other officers by falling asleep. pic.twitter.com/YDZglVzyIM
— Justin Berry (@realJustinBerry) October 3, 2022
“You have time and time again shown nothing but contempt and utmost disrespect towards the men and women of the Austin Police Department but also our families [Mayor Adler],” wrote senior Austin law enforcement official Justin Berry in the Twitter thread exposing the mayor.
“It's very disheartening to have the Mayor of the City of Austin – who was one of the ones that spearheaded all the defunding of Austin Police Department by a third of our budget, who voted to take away officers' pay stipends back in 2017, which had a huge financial impact on our families,” Berry told Fox News, adding, “to continue to go down a pathway that just shows nothing but the utmost disrespect and contempt.”
Following the Twitter exposure, Mayor Adler issued a statement but failed to mention his falling asleep during the service: “I want to again express my deepest apologies to the family of Officer Tony Martin, who will forever be honored as a hero. I regret that my actions distracted attention away from a somber moment. May his memory be a blessing to his family, and to the city he served.”
I want to again express my deepest apologies to the family of Officer Tony Martin, who will forever be honored as a hero. I regret that my actions distracted attention away from a somber moment. May his memory be a blessing to his family, and to the city he served.
— Mayor Adler | Register to vote by Oct. 11! (@MayorAdler) October 6, 2022
The mayor, who approved a $21 million budget cut to the Austin Police Department in 2020, has had an increasingly tumultuous relationship with APD.
Last year, Adler wasn't invited to the funeral of Officer Andy Traylor who died from his injuries following a car crash, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
The situation in the APD has reached such low levels that only 20 percent of APD employees think the department is well managed with only 11 percent saying that change is handled well in the city according to a Workforce Survey, per Fox News.
“We just had a massive survey done that showed how highly displeased officers are towards the city,” Berry stated on Monday, adding, “and then, less than a week later, he does this stuff.” Berry is one of 19 officers indicted earlier this year for their efforts in breaking up a Black Lives Matter riot in the summer of 2020.
One thing is for certain, under Mayor Adler's leadership, he has devastated the police department and has no respect for the men and women in blue defending him and Autunites every day. Luckily, Adler is not running for reelection. Hopefully, residents vote for someone who actually cares about public safety and the officers who put their lives on the line.
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