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Gov. Greg Abbott appoints officer indicted for misconduct during George Floyd protests to police regulatory agency

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Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed an indicted Austin police officer accused of using excessive force during 2020 protests to Texas’ regulatory law enforcement agency.

Justin Berry was among 19 Austin police officers indicted earlier this year in the protests spurred by the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Berry is charged with two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant.

He also ran as a Republican for Texas House District 19 but lost in the primary runoff election this year. Abbott had endorsed Berry in the race, saying his “strong conservative values and experience stopping violent crime are exactly what we need in the Texas House.”

Now, at the governor’s hand, Berry will serve on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which sets minimum licensing and training standards for police. Abbott did not immediately respond to The Texas Tribune’s request for comment, but in a press release announcing Berry’s appointment Friday, he said the commission ensures “that the people of Texas are served by highly trained and ethical law enforcement, corrections, and telecommunications personnel.” Berry posted a statement to Twitter on Friday but did not respond to requests for comment.

“The demands and expectations of today’s professional police officer have never been so great,” Berry said about his appointment via Twitter. “I look forward to ensuring Texas has the best police officers in the world. Ensuring those who answer the call to serve their respective communities have the training and resources necessary to be set up for success are a priority to not only keeping Texan’s safe but ensuring trust is earned and maintained by those very communities.”

Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, said Abbott’s decision to appoint Berry to TCOLE is dangerous, not based in public safety and flies in the face of “what’s in the best interests of Texans.”

“This is an indicted officer who is now part of the body licensing and regulating law enforcement agencies,” Mokuria said. “It’s a move in the wrong direction, and it makes us unsafe. And, quite frankly, it’s a message that has been reiterated from the governor’s mansion over and over again, whether that be families in Uvalde who were not safe to send their kids to school, or all Texas residents during the winter storm. Our lives and our safety have consistently been put at risk because of this governor.”

“This is an indicted officer who is now part of the body licensing and regulating law enforcement agencies,” Mokuria said. “It’s a move in the wrong direction, and it makes us unsafe. And, quite frankly, it’s a message that has been reiterated from the governor’s mansion over and over again, whether that be families in Uvalde who were not safe to send their kids to school, or all Texas residents during the winter storm. Our lives and our safety have consistently been put at risk because of this governor.”



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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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