Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday that Texas Governor Greg Abbott was “hypocritical” for saying on national television that he is unaware of the orders he himself has indicated and causing local authorities to bear the political cost. .
“With all due respect, @GregAbbot_TX, you should not give orders that include the imprisonment of those who break the law just to turn around and blame others for YOUR executive decisions just to avoid the political cost,” Acevedo wrote on his Twitter profile. “His actions are hypocritical.”
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Respectfully, @GregAbbott_TX, you shouldn’t issue orders that include the jailing of violators to cover the science, just to turnaround & excoriate those who enforce YOUR executive order to cover the political backlash.
Your actions are hypocritical. https://t.co/SXD04yOYx1
– Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) May 8, 2020
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Abbott appeared on FoxNews before meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington and announcing that he would release Dallas hairdresser Shelley Luther, who was jailed this week for failing to comply with the governor’s restraining orders.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Republican governor, prison should be the “last resort” for failing to comply with the orders that he himself indicated. Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for refusing to close her beauty salon and then apologizing. The case drew the attention of Republican leaders in Texas, who came to his defense, and from across the country.
President Trump congratulated Abbott on his reopening plan and the release of Luther. The governor said after Hannity that jailing Texans for not complying with the restraining orders “made no sense” and that “he would not allow it to happen again.”
He then criticized the decisions of Harris County, where he has clashed with local (Democratic) authorities over the restraining measures. “In Houston, fines and jail were imposed on anyone who did not want to wear a mask,” he told Hannity. “Wearing a face mask is a good measure, but no one should go to jail for not using it.”
County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered the measure, which included a $ 1,000 fine, but no jail time. Republican leaders, including Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, criticized Hidalgo and said he was abusing his powers for indicating the order.
Hidalgo explained that the purpose of the fine was to convince citizens of the seriousness of the situation and both she and Mayor Sylvester Turner and Acevedo himself insisted that no one would be fined for not wearing a face mask.
Criticism of Abbott has come not only from his opponents, but also from his own party. State Congressman Mike Lang reminded his Twitter followers that the judge who sentenced Luther to seven days in prison was only complying with the governor’s instructions.
“In summary, Abbott says that the sentence of a Dallas judge is excessive when he only acted according to the order that he himself indicated,” he wrote.