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.

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

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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HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Houston police chief Art Acevedo looks on during a press conference following a tour of the NRG Center evacuation center on September 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit Southern Texas, residents are beginning the long process of recovering from the storm. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Director of Emergency General Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Joseph Sakran, Baltimore City Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit Commander Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Executive Director Robyn Thomas testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill February 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. During the hearing titled 'Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action,' the committee heard testimony from gun violence victims, a trauma doctor, law enforcement officials and other during the first hearing in the House of Representatives on gun violence in eight years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo (L) is greeted by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) (R), chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence prevention in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill February 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. During the hearing titled 'Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action,' the committee heard testimony from gun violence victims, a trauma doctor, law enforcement officials and other during the first hearing in the House of Representatives on gun violence in eight years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 18: Houston Rockets owner chats with Houston Police chief Art Acevedo during Game Two of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs at Toyota Center on April 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo waves to the crowd during the Houston Astros Victory Parade on November 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 22: Houston police chief Art Acevedo speaks during the "Texas Strong: Hurricane Harvey Can't Mess With Texas" benefit at The Frank Erwin Center on September 22, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
March 13th, 2014 Austin, Texas USA: APD Chief Art Acevedo gives updates during a press conference close to the Mohawk bar where hours earlier, a suspected drunk driver plowed into a crowd of people attending SXSW Music festival activities. The suspect killed two people and injured another 23. Also speaking was Roland Swenson, the SXSW managing director. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
March 13th, 2014 Austin, Texas USA: APD Chief Art Acevedo gives updates during a press conference close to the Mohawk bar where hours earlier, a suspected drunk driver plowed into a crowd of people attending SXSW Music festival activities. The suspect killed two people and injured another 23. Also speaking was Roland Swenson, the SXSW managing director. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo hugs another mourner at prayer service at St. David's Episcopal Church following a deadly car accident at the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival (SXSW) on March 13, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Two people were killed and 23 injured when a car plowed into people in a blocked intersection outside a venue called the Mowhawk. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 21: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and his wife Tanya Acevedo arrive at the 7th Annual Andy Roddick Foundation Gala at W Hotel Austin on September 21, 2012 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
4/11/12 Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman; Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron was laid to rest today in a full ceremony. APD police chief Art Acevedo receives a flag for the family. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
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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.”

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