Republican senators denounced after police officer shot dead

A Texas police officer who was killed while responding to a domestic violence call may have been struck by a bullet that penetrated his ballistic vest, authorities said Monday.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo made the disclosure about Sgt. Christopher Brewster’s killing Saturday in a note to officers, just hours after he denounced Republican Senators who he said have not reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act.

Acevedo also berated pro-gun advocates who oppose new provisions in the law.

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The act, which was first signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton in 1994, intended to aid in the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases.

After the law expired earlier this year, the House passed a five-year extension, though most Republican lawmakers opposed it.

Image: Sergeant Christopher Brewster
Image: Sergeant Christopher Brewster

Among the reauthorization’s new provisions is the so-called boyfriend loophole, which bans people convicted of stalking or abusing a partner from buying a gun. The provision is opposed by the National Rifle Association.

The group, which urged Republicans to vote against it, said pro-gun control activists and lawmakers were using the law “as a smokescreen to push their” agenda and trivialize “the serious issue of domestic violence.”

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Speaking to reporters before Brewster’s body was taken to a funeral home, Acevedo referenced the provision, attributing opposition in the Senate to the NRA.

“One of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends,” he said.

Acevedo added that the suspect in Brewster’s killing, Arturo Solis, 25, was allegedly a “domestic abuser.”

“You’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA,” he said.

The senators did not respond publicly to Acevedo on Monday, though Sen. Cornyn responded last week to a tweet from Acevedo in which the chief urged the senators to reauthorize the law.

“Unfortunately, important legislation like this has fallen casualty to impeachment mania,” Cornyn said. “We will keep trying to pass a bipartisan bill but it takes two (parties) to tango.”