Austin Police say they “did a good job” after violent arrest of woman in crisis

Tania Silva was brutally arrested after her family attempted to get her help

WHAT: Silva has been in jail since July 19th without proper medication and has ICE hold
WHO: Silva is a 21-year-old student at ACC with a diagnosis of schizophrenia
WHEN:  Silva was arrested on July 19th
WHERE: Silva is detained at the Del Valle Correctional Complex with a $5,000 bond

AUSTIN — Austin Police Department issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon in response to an outcry of support for Tania Silva’s immediate release from Travis County Correctional Complex. APD’s official remarks were that “the officers did a good job” employing de-escalation techniques. This is not the story that family members and witnesses are telling.

After she went missing Wednesday night, Silva’s parents called EMS to locate her and get her to treatment. Instead of EMS, three APD officers, including a mental health officer, responded to the call. Witnesses reported that she treated aggressively, and was tackled, hit in the back, and hogtied by police. She was then charged with felony assault on a public servant.

In response to questions about the best place for Silva to have been taken “had things gone right”, APD repeatedly asserted that “there is no right or wrong because whether she went to hospital or jail she is going to get the help that she needs.” But a legal advocate who has seen her says that she is in crisis, barely conscious, acting erratically, and unable to speak. This is not the help that she needs. She needs to be in a medical setting with the support and care of her family.  

We are calling for District Attorney Margaret Moore and Sheriff Sally Hernandez to drop her charges, remove her ICE hold and facilitate her immediate release into the care of her family and treatment provider. She cannot afford to wait another day!

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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation, and criminalization are things of the past. Follow us @Grassroots_News.