Mayor Ivy Taylor is defending Police Chief William McManus as the San Antonio Police Officers Association prepares to take a vote of no confidence next week.
Taylor expressed disappointed in what she called a “lack of leadership” in the police union.
“I think that they are so disconnected in what is actually going on in our community. I think the average person on the street will tell you they have extreme confidence in Chief McManus,” she said on the Trey Ware Morning Show.
SAPOA President Mike Helle is concerned about the Police Executive Research Forum changes, which include new guidelines for use of force. He says police also are upset about the chief’s recommendation of indefinite suspension for officer John Lee, who shot and killed an unarmed suspect last month.
Officer Lee claims he thought Antronie Scott moved toward him in an aggressive manner with something in his hand. Lee thought it was a gun, so he opened fire, but the object Scott was holding was a cell phone.
“What he’s saying is that officer Lee could have done something different to prevent that, but who’s to say that would have made a difference? ” Helle asked on the Trey Ware Morning Show.
He acknowledged that a no confidence vote by the association wouldn’t result in formal action against the chief, but he says it would send a message.
Mayor Taylor says officers are doing a good job and they should have the tools they need to make their job easier, but she believes the chief is doing the right thing.
“Even as policing becomes more difficult and receives more scrutiny, I think everything he’s doing is to bring everything in line with community expectations,” said Mayor Taylor.
“We can’t just stick our heads in the sand and do things like we did 30 years ago,” she added.