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‘Cowardice’: Houston police chief blasts McConnell and Cruz for letting abusive boyfriends keep guns

12/10/2019 10:28 am ET Sunny Hundal
'You’re either for women or for the NRA': TX police chief slams McConnell, Cruz for letting abusive boyfriends keep guns

Screenshot / The Guardian

The police chief of Houston slammed Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) on Monday for their inaction on gun control and violence against women.

His excoriating speech to reporters came after a Houston police sergeant was shot in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call.

He said the Senators refused to act because they “don’t want to piss off the NRA”. He also said he didn’t want to hear “their smug faces” talk about how much they cared for law enforcement when they refused to help them by passing important legislation.

On Sunday, Houston police confirmed that Sergeant Christopher Brewster had been shot and killed Saturday evening by a man who had been reported for assault. Brewster had acted after police received a call from a female victim who was being assaulted by her boyfriend while armed with two firearms.

Brewster was shot at and struck multiple times immediately after exiting his patrol vehicle, Acevedo said.

Chief lashes out

In a now viral video of the press conference, Houston police chief Art Acevedo gave a passionate speech directed at those Senators who are failing to take action.

“The fact that his mom, his father, his wife, his sisters, his friends, and ultimately the community that he laid down his life for will be putting him to rest before Christmas because of the cowardice of the political people we have in office.”

“You’re not a Republican. You’re not a Democrat. You’re not a Conservative. You’re not a Liberal. You’re not a Progressive. You are an American, and American blood is being shed every day in the community—throughout this nation. And do something about it or retire.”

WATCH

More of his speech was published by the Guardian:

“We’ve got to get the Violence Against Women Act acted upon. We’ve got to get in a room. I don’t want to hear about how much they support law enforcement, how much they care about lives and the sanctity of lives.”

“And yet we all know in law enforcement that this is one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House, and getting the Violence Against Women Act, is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends.”

“And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend. So you’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA.”

“So I don’t want to see their little smug faces about how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the NRA.”

“Make up your minds. Whose side are you on? Gun manufactures? The gun lobby? Or the children who are getting gunned down in this country every single day? In our schools, in our theatres, in our colleges, on our streets, in our homes, in our businesses. Who are you coming to work for?”

The Violence Against Women Act

The VAWA was passed in 1994 and assists victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. However, it was allowed to expire in February due to inaction by the Trump Administration. The aim of the VAWA is to curb violence against women, nad includes a provision that expands the ability of law enforcement to strip guns from domestic abusers. The NRA is opposed to that particular provision.

It also closes the ‘boyfriend loophole’ by barring those convicted of abusing, assaulting, or stalking a dating partner from buying or owning firearms. More on this here.

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