Bexar Co. DA addresses police chief’s concerns over repeat violent offenders being released

A wanted felon has shot a San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) officer for the second time in less than a week, causing chaos on 1-10 around South New Braunfels and leading to the shutdown of the highway. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when officers were following the suspect identified as Michael Kirkland, who was wanted on multiple warrants, according to Police Chief William McManus. Kirkland crashed into a police car, opened fire at passing cars, and attempted to carjack drivers on the highway, ultimately resulting in a shootout with the police. One officer was shot but is in stable condition, while Kirkland was killed at the scene.

Chief McManus revealed that the suspect, Kirkland, had a violent history, which was confirmed by Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales. Gonzales stated that Kirkland had been accused of committing crimes for over 20 years. To highlight the frustration within the department, McManus read aloud a list of charges that were previously dropped by the District Attorney, emphasizing the recurring issue of arrests not leading to convictions.

According to court documents, Kirkland, a 40-year-old suspect, had faced 21 charges and had two active arrest warrants at the time of the incident. One of the warrants was for a terroristic threat charge, while the other was for aggravated assault against a public servant. Chief McManus expressed concern about what happens to criminals once they are arrested, referencing the five cases against Kirkland that were dismissed due to lack of cooperation from victims and witnesses. Gonzales justified the dismissals, citing insufficient evidence for conviction in each case.

With repeat offenders becoming a growing concern, frustration among law enforcement officials is mounting. Danny Diaz, the president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, criticized the failure to prosecute repeat criminal offenders and the release of violent criminals on bail. Diaz called for accountability on the part of the Bexar County District Attorney, Joe Gonzales, who has repeatedly disregarded policies rejected by San Antonians.

In response to the criticism, District Attorney Gonzales defended his actions, stating that he is taking accountability by explaining to the public why certain cases are not prosecuted. However, the issue persists, as another shooting involving SAPD occurred later that night, resulting in the death of a vehicle burglary suspect and the hospitalization of another officer. Chief McManus revealed that this suspect, like Kirkland, was believed to be a repeat violent offender.

This incident further highlights the ongoing concern about the selective prosecution process and its impact on public safety. The San Antonio community and law enforcement officials are demanding greater accountability and action to prevent repeat offenders from causing harm and endangering the lives of citizens and officers alike.

As this story unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in addressing the issue of repeat offenders and the need for a comprehensive approach that ensures the safety of the community while upholding the principles of justice and accountability.

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