|Hearing of Residents
Mayor Gutierrez read the following: This time is set aside for any person who wishes to address the City Council. Each person is limited to 3 minutes, and we ask before addressing the Council, for the record, please state your name and address. Mayor Gutierrez read the five rules that were on the overhead. For the record please state your name address.
All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body, and not to any individual member thereof. Any person making personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks while addressing the Council may be requested to leave the meeting.
Discussion by the Council of any item not on the agenda shall be limited to statements of specific factual information given in response to any inquiry, a recitation of existing policy in response to an inquiry, and/or a proposal to place the item on a future agenda. The presiding officer, during the Hearing of Residents portion of the agenda, will call on those persons who have signed up to speak in the order they have registered.
Mayor Pro-Tem read the following names and Mayor Gutierrez recognized the following:
- Mr. Leonard Moore, 1653 N. Santa Clara, Santa Clara Texas who was asked recently why he keeps attending the meetings, maybe you can stop going, in answer he stated because it is his privilege. His privilege to not have to walk in their shoes every day, his privilege to not worry when he gets pulled over that maybe that cop's going to shoot him for simply trying to walk away. His privilege to get mad when he gets a speeding ticket, yell at the cop and the cop gives me a ticket, but nothing happens - that's privilege, and it's not equal. We have a system that has systematically lessened the voice of some people over the voice of some people, and until we can change that system and all of us are truly free and equal, none of us are. He stated that if he has to worry about his children growing up in a racist environment, because let's face it, racism is taught. It is not inherent, nobody grows up thinking one person is better than another, they're taught that from their parents, great-grandparents. He has heard lately "well that is how they are raised,” “that's how they were brought up" - you do not see a problem with that? That is our privilege showing. It is his privilege to stand here week after week to talk to you on their behalf. He will be here even if he is the last voice in the room shouting for what's right and will be here until you change things. You have the power to change things, you do not need him to tell you what to change, you know what needs to change. Your privilege is showing by not changing. You know what to do, you should be ashamed, every single one of you.
- Ms. Mandy Moore, 1653 N. Santa Clara, Santa Clara Texas who shared a personal story, and coincides with the privilege topic that was just covered. It's just been over a year since she received her one and only ticket. She explained that when she was pulled over she went into a little panic, started crying and got shaky and the officer instead of assuming that I was on drugs, asked if she was alright. Her husband was able to speak, and he told the officer that she was fine, she just has anxiety which is true, but then the officer was also shining his light into her eyes. She got angry and upset with that and told the officer that they needed to shine it down or somewhere else. The way she was talking to the officer was probably not right, she does have anxiety, and it escalated the situation, but the officer didn't escalate this any further, even though she was outright upset. The officer took her information, went back to his car, he didn't ask me to step out of the car or anything and my co-workers mentioned that I didn't realize that if I wasn't white, that's not how that would have happened. This didn't happen in Schertz, it happened in Garden Ridge. She spoke regarding she had seen the last meeting and the head of the Police Department said that they are kind of hiring out of desperation. They have to put forth more and take whatever remainder they can get. Don't hire out of desperation first, after all. If you have to, they need training, more ethics training for the officers that are being hired. You have to have accountability for those who show a record here. You can meet with us, the police accountability activists, that would be a great start, and we can discuss this further.
- Mr. Jack Miller, 4839 Dick Gordon, Kirby Texas, who gave a big shout out to Officer Fennesy, because on the night of the Rayford incident she decided to pull that man over and she did not see a violation. He has taken his film crew out, we have measured, we have put ourselves in the position of her sight-line, and he can't tell if anyone's stopping at that red light or not. It's indisputable that when she made the decision to pull that car over, she had a hunch that he committed a crime. He has looked at each member of Council's background and stated that they are extremely educated and have an impeccable background. He asked if they knew anything about hunches as it pertains to cops? Cops can't take action on hunches, they can't make arrests on hunches. They can detain someone on a hunch, but they cannot arrest someone. Where he comes from, and his law enforcement background, he always taught his trainees don't put so much effort into hunches, ask some questions and let's move on to the next thing, because hunches are going to get you into trouble. This gets officers in trouble all the time. Again a shout out to Officer Fennesy, without her, he wouldn't have made the money he has made so far off his YouTube streams, so far he is around $4,000. He doesn't want her fired, he doesn't want Chavarria fired, he wants him to stay here. I know you don't want him to do it again, but he does, because that is the devil in him. The angel in him doesn't want him to do it again and that's why he keeps coming before the Council to speak. So far he is still fighting the City, he thinks the City is being as transparent as possible and doing the right thing, but he is still fighting the City on the release of the Use of Force Policy, the General Manual Policy. He isn't asking for anything secret, the Use of Force Policy, the Taser Policy and the General Manual Policy (and you are paying your attorney's a lot of money to fight him that). Anytime you want to meet, he can give them an example of how much a city ends up paying to fight him for the release of information that we ultimately end up getting anyway. It cost Leon Valley to the tune of $250,000 over the course of 2 years just in fees fighting him on the release of information. He doesn't understand why the City will not release the information - it's not in the spirit of transparency - it's a simple policy, and he needs it to ask and to answer some questions, that's all.
- Mr. Dana Eldridge, 2628 Gallant Fox Drive, Schertz Texas who addressed the first part to Dr. Browne as he had the privilege last week of being a volunteer with a tremendous group of people giving out vaccines over at the Civic Center. Summer Hall will be briefing you shortly, Chief Long the whole group. The way they treated citizens going through the line, especially the elderly, top-notch. The other thing is he has the privilege of standing up here giving a correct address (disruption in the room - audience stating the clock was not set - Mayor Gutierrez stated it was a mistake and to please not interrupt). Mr. Eldridge continued stating (the time was adjusted) and that he gave his correct address unlike some people here, and it is hard from him to sit back and continually listen to our city being run down by people who are not from our city and still refuse to give their own correct address, but he does feel privileged that he was able to work as a volunteer in his city helping residents get the vaccine.
- Marie Fleur, 9415 Hanover Cove who stated it is difficult to see Council celebrating George Washington Day and talking about the founding of this country, saying the pledges and talking about liberty and justice for all and there is literally a family suffering. Like others have said you have tried to be transparent, but we need for you to take more accountability for what is happening.
- Andrew Perretta, 2920 Mineral Springs, Schertz Texas yielded his time to Pharaoh Clark. Mr. Clark stated what he has to say is very short and is not going to be antagonistic in any way. He is here to say that you have heard before we already know what happened, and we know what needs to be done. He is here to advocate and ask Council is to stop wasting your own time and our time to stop looking at this as an us- against-them situation and take some time to work together with the people that are here to come up with the reasonable solution. We all know that everyone that has seen the video, no matter which side you are on, there were things that were done that could have been done better. We know that there were policy violations that happened in the video that need to be addressed. Instead of sitting here every other week, why not come together and work with the citizens and try to come up with solutions. Come together and release those policies and say what can we do to address these and make these better, so we don't have this situation again. He is here to advocate for them and that instead of looking at this as an us-against- them, work with people that want to work with you. In Schertz they have a very good opportunity right now to set the tone for the rest of the world how they should address this issue. The city is small enough to address this issue in the police department and then to be able to measure the metrics and see how far little changes can actually go in making a difference between community police relationships. Instead of looking at us as enemies, try to look at them as people that want to work with you to get changes that are needed, not only in this police department but across the nation. It's a serious issue, and it is not going away - come together to find a reasonable solution that we all can agree on. If you are open to this he would love to be the person to help advocate with them and help.