Texas law enforcement officials speak out against SB3

Public safety officials and school superintendents from across Texas gathered Tuesday on the steps of the state capitol in Austin to plead with lawmakers to reject what they believe is discriminatory legislation, including SB3, or the "bathroom bill."

AUSTIN (KIII NEWS) - Public safety officials and school superintendents from across Texas gathered Tuesday on the steps of the state capitol in Austin to plead with lawmakers to reject what they believe is discriminatory legislation, including SB3, or the "bathroom bill."

They were joined by sexual assault survivors as they made their plea.

Corpus Christi Independent School District Police Chief Kirby Warnke was among those who spoke out against bills like SB3, saying they put the safety of citizens in jeopardy.

If passed, SB3 would require persons to use the public bathroom designated for their biological sex. Supporters of the bill say it prevents sexual predators from entering bathrooms of the opposite sex, but the 15 law enforcement officials who spoke Tuesday say it not only discriminates against transgender individuals, but it also puts them in danger.

Warnke said in 27 years in law enforcement he has served in every role he could.

"Line officer, sergeant, shift commander, internal investigations and now chief since 2001," Warnke said. "Never in my experience in any of those roles have I ever written, approved or otherwise looked over a report that had anything to do with addressing this issue."

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus also made some interesting comments from the podium.

"I never thought I'd be standing in front of the state capitol talking about a bathroom bill," McManus said. "Like police don't have anything better to do but worry about who goes in what bathroom."

McManus said he asked his staff to go back and check records to see if there had been any assaults or incidents of that nature in bathrooms, and they found not one.

Sexual assault survivor advocates said they have also not heard of anyone being sexually assaulted in a bathroom. Officials also spoke about the bathroom bill's negative economic impact.

Despite wide criticism of the bill, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Leiutenant Governor Dan Patrick both support it. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate as early as Tuesday.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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