From an email from Charlie Baird, who is challenging Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg in the Democratic Primary:
“Why don’t you just hush?”
Last night, at a community meeting to discuss the shooting of Byron Carter, Jr. by an Austin Police Officer, that’s what my opponent said to me when I tried to expose some of the hypocrisy of the District Attorney’s office related to its grand jury process in high profile cases.
After the story about last night’s meeting came out in today’s Austin American-Statesman, my e-mail inbox and my voicemail have been filling up with folks contacting me about this. They simply cannot believe that our incumbent District Attorney is so frightened of her true record being exposed that she would stoop to such levels. They cannot believe that a public servant–who answers to the voters—would actually try and ‘hush’ debate about her job performance.
I could not agree more—and I’ll tell you something else: I will not ‘hush.’
Throughout my career as a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, as a law professor, and as a judge on the 299th District Court here in Travis County, I’ve never been one to ‘hush’ when I see something wrong with our legal system.
Travis County does not have a criminal justice system that reflects the values and standards of the people of Travis County.
The average person in this county does not accept the fact that it has taken almost a full year for a grand jury to address a police officer shooting an unarmed civilian. The average person in this county does not agree with the fact that our DA’s office does not operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week like it does in other cities. The average person in this county does not agree with the fact that a state representative can simply get five years probation–and still keep his taxpayer funded pension and simply reimburse his campaign account–while a parent is tried as a felon for stealing diapers for their child.
Throughout the course of this campaign, I have talked about bringing justice that works to Travis County. Justice that works isn’t a justice system where critics of the system are told to ‘hush.’ It is a transparent system that takes input from the community and reflects the values of the people on whose behalf justice is administered. That’s the kind of justice system we’ll have when I’m District Attorney.