Woke Austin, Texas granted a key to the city to a radical defund the police protestor who doesn’t think anyone should be placed in jail — even murderers.
Despite the city setting a record for homicides in 2021 after dramatically cutting its police budget and 911 response times climbing to hours even for serious crimes, Chas Moore, head of the Austin Justice Coalition, believes police and prisons should be abolished.
“I believe that we can get to a world where we don’t have police and where we don’t have prisons,” said the activitist — whose grip on Austin officials is so strong, they declared Oct. 22 “Chas Moore Day” last year.
“Someone breaks into my home; I call the police, and then what?” he asked. “Even if they find the person, now the person goes to jail. We didn’t really fix anything. We punished this person in a way that’s not really helpful.
“Let’s work out a deal to where I can still hold you accountable. I would actually say instead of sending her to jail, let’s say she pays me back by cleaning my house for the next six weeks.”
A convicted felon himself — for second-degree robbery when he was 17 — Moore told The Post he’d be willing to forgive even the most violent crimes.
“If someone went into my grandma’s house with a f—ing shotgun and blew her brains out, I’m going to be sad, I’m going to go through the whole f—ing array of human emotions, but at some point, if I’m able to really sit with that, there’s no level or retribution that’s going to make me feel any type of way,” he stated.
“What do I actually gain by having this person held accountable in a system like jail or prison?”
The Austin Justice Coalition has taken credit for pushing for marijuana decriminalization and disrupting contract negotiations between the city and police in 2017 and again this year.
City hall offered police a one-year contract instead of the typical four year contract because the elected officials want to wait until May — when voters will decide if they want to create a police accountability office backed by Moore’s group.
Such negotiations, alongside anti-cop sentiment in the city, have led to a wave of resignations leaving the city facing a shortage of 358 officers.
The police union turned down the one-year contract — and shortly after 94 officers either quit or retired in the first three months of the year, many citing morale as a reason, according to the Austin Police Association.
“I know I’m in the minority of people that believe in s–t like this, and maybe I’m slightly crazy myself, but I’ve been black long enough, I’ve read enough books, I’ve been poor long enough to understand these systems we have in place, they just really do what we want them to do,” Moore said.
Moore was also quick to brush off his teenage conviction in his interview with The Post, saying: “The judge literally told me, ‘I know you didn’t do this. I know you were with some a–holes, but I want to teach you a lesson.’ Long story, eight years probation, convicted felon for second-degree robbery.”
Despite holding views outside of the mainstream, Moore has gone largely unchecked in the liberal Texas capital, according to moderate Democratic activist Cleo Petricek, who was once part of Moore’s group until she realized they were trying to defund police — not just hold bad cops accountable.
“That is what is ruling the day here in Austin,” Petricek said in an interview with The Post.
“It makes me so mad that somebody like that, with that type of mentality, has the ear of the mayor. It scares me.”
The day Moore spoke to The Post, he said he had left a meeting at City Hall with the city manager.
The city’s leadership had arranged the face-to-face to explain what role state troopers from the Department of Public Safety would play as they patrol Austin streets.
Mayor Kirk Watson announced last week he had asked for the DPS to send troopers to help the Austin Police Department, due to its lack of officers, which has led to citizens being asked to call the non-emergency number for all but the most serious of crimes.
“If you come home and find your home burglarized, calls like that are now going to 311,” police union president Thomas Villarreal previously told The Post. “You’re not getting a police response to many property crimes if it’s not a violent crime that is currently ongoing.”
Petricek said she believes voters and city officials are overlooking Moore’s criminal background, which also includes a DWI conviction in 2015.
“This felon has so much weight in the city,” she said. “I think [elected officials] are just afraid of backlash. If they disrespect him, they’re going to have protests. They’re going to be treated like they’re racists.”