Editor’s note: The video above is part of KXAN’s coverage following Tuesday’s protest at the Texas Capitol.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Friday, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made a false allegation against the office regarding the arrest of a protester at the Texas State Capitol earlier this week.
Protests popped up Tuesday near the Texas House chambers over Senate Bill 14, a bill that would ban minors from accessing puberty blockers and gender-transition surgery.
The protests resulted in Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan clearing the House gallery as groups in opposition to the bill chanted and displayed signs. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which provides security to the Capitol, was called in to remove all members of the public in the gallery, including supporters of the legislation.
“Rules matter in the Texas House,” Phelan said Tuesday. “Today’s [Tuesday] outbursts in the gallery were a breach of decorum and continued after I warned that such behaviors would not be tolerated. There will always be differing perspectives, but in our chamber, we will debate those differences with respect.”
Rule 1, Section 5 of the House Rules requires the speaker to “preserve order and decorum.” Signs and placards are explicitly prohibited in the gallery.
The Texas Freedom Network, a progressive advocacy group that organized a protest, said its organizing director was booked into Travis County jail. TNF said they were released and the charges were dropped.
In response to the AG’s allegation, the Travis County DA’s office said it was aware of a single felony arrest made by the Texas Department of Public Safety at the Capitol Tuesday. According to a release, the DA’s office said Paxton released a false allegation that the office dropped the charges against the individual arrested.
“A Magistrate Judge determined that this arrest lacked probable cause and rejected the charge. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office had no involvement in this case,” the DA’s office said.
Travis County District Attorney José Garza also issued a statement in response to the allegation.
“This is yet another example of state leadership commenting on a criminal case in Travis County and getting the facts wrong. The Texas Attorney General is currently under felony indictment and under a federal criminal investigation. He should focus on his own legal troubles instead of interfering in the Travis County criminal process,” Garza said.
The indictment against Paxton Garza reference in his response was for securities fraud. There have also been more recent investigations but no legal action.