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D.A. defends himself over Facebook flap

Posted: 5:40 PM, Jan 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-24 20:42:09-05

 

Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez believes he has better things to do than talk about a Facebook post, including a pair of capital murder trials.

 

“We’re actually in trial, and I’m having to answer questions,” said Gonzalez.  “Really you should be about getting justice for Mr. Torres, or our task force just got a load of maybe $200,000-300,000 taking drug money off the streets, but yet everybody wants to know what a hashtag may mean.”

The hashtag ‘#ftp’ was part of a now deleted Facebook post where Gonzalez tried to share a post by a retired police officer, which was critical of a new policy, as well as of the D.A. himself.  Some took #ftp to mean “f*** the police”.  Gonzalez later posted the hashtag meant “for the people”, or a saying popularized by comedian George Lopez.

 

“If someone wants to take it out of context, you’re hearing it from me. I would never, ever say “F the police”, that’s ridiculous,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez feels he was attacked in the original post.

“When someone goes out there an attacks you, and I call it an attack,” said Gonzalez.  “They called me a thug, a cholo, in the hood.  I’m actually from the country, not the hood.”

But those statements weren’t in the original post.  They were, however, part of a comment, which came after Gonzalez replied.

So why did the D.A. delete his post?

“I wanted to share all their text,” said Gonzalez.  “You look in the screenshot, his text doesn’t come out, it doesn’t show it.  I wanted people to see what people were writing about me.”

Gonzalez added he still feels Facebook is an effective way to get his office’s message out, but he may not respond to individual comments anymore.

Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn said she was “livid” when she heard about Gonzalez’s posts.

Vaughn believes elected officials like herself and Gonzalez should hold themselves to a higher standard.

“That’s not what you do when you’re in public office,” said Vaughn.  “People criticize you and disagree with you all the time, you do not call them names, you do not attack them, you take constructive criticism.”

As for the new D.A. policy not try certain misdemeanors, when they’re accompanied by a felony charge, Vaughn calls it a “first step towards decriminalizing crime”, specifically resisting arrest being one of those misdemeanors.