SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Police Chief William McManus nothing improper occurred while his department handled a human smuggling case last month.
His statement comes as the Texas Lt. Governor questions whether the chief violated the state's new anti-sanctuary city law and is asking the Attorney General to investigate.
"I broke no protocols. I did exactly what my chiefly prerogatives allowed me to do," SAPD Chief William McManus said in a press conference Thursday.
The incident occurred last month after reports of a suspicious tractor trailer parked on a side street near Splashtown San Antonio. Police found twelve undocumented immigrants around the vehicle. Homeland Security Investigations officials also arrived on scene, but none of the migrants were detained by HSI.
"Why they didn't take custody? I don't know," McManus said.
Instead, police questioned the immigrants and turned them over to a Catholic charity, arresting the driver of the truck under a state human smuggling statute.
An attorney representing the twelve undocumented immigrants says they are currently cooperating with law enforcement officials as they prosecute the case against the human smuggler.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has now opened an investigation into whether the police chief's actions during the incident might have violated anti-sanctuary city law SB 4 after concerns from the Lieutenant Governor.
It's a notion city officials deny.
"The attacks on Police Chief McManus are nothing more than political theater, based on a fictitious narrative," San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Police Officers Association is openly questioning what occurred last month.
"It has the gross appearance that he intentionally manipulated and used his authority to force the situation to exactly how he needed it in order to facilitate the release of these 12 people from police custody," San Antonio Police Officers Association President Michael Helle said in an interview earlier this week.
But whether or not this violated SB 4 remains unclear, the first true test of the law since it came into effect this past fall.