Anti-police Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler appeared to fall asleep during the funeral of fallen police officer Anthony Martin on Monday. The moment was caught on camera, drawing the ire of law enforcement advocates.
Austin Police Department Officer Justin Berry, who is also a member of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, tweeted a photo of Adler sleeping at the funeral. Berry said it was another example of Adler’s “contempt and utmost disrespect” toward law enforcement.
“If you’re going to defund and destroy a police department as their mayor then attend a highly respected officer’s funeral, perhaps do not continue to disrespect that officer’s family, friends, and other officers by falling asleep,” Berry wrote.
“You have time and time again shown nothing but contempt and utmost disrespect towards the men and women of the Austin Police Department but also our families @MayorAdler,” Berry added in a separate tweet.
After the funeral, Adler apologized for his behavior in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“I want to express my deepest apologies to the family of Officer Martin. Officer Martin died 10 days ago and will forever be honored as a hero. This moment should be about him and his family, including his two daughters whose words today pierced my heart as a father,” Adler said. “I hold Officer Martin in the highest regard. May his memory be a blessing to his family, and to the city he served.”
Martin died in a car crash on Sept. 23 while driving home from work. He is survived by his parents, wife, three children and one granddaughter. Martine originally joined the Austin Police Department in 2006 after serving in the U.S. Air Force for two decades.
“I have endless memories that I hold in my heart, but sadly that’s all I have now,” his daughter, Ashley, said at the funeral. “My dad was always my hero, my protector, and my inspiration. He was my fearless leader. No matter how scary the path was, I knew I could follow him.”
Berry told Fox News Digital that the mayor’s behavior at the funeral was “disheartening.”
“It’s very disheartening to have the Mayor of the City of Austin – who was one of the ones that spearheaded all the defunding of Austin Police Department by a third of our budget, who voted to take away officers’ pay stipends back in 2017, which had a huge financial impact on our families – to continue to go down a pathway that just shows nothing but the utmost disrespect and contempt,” he said.
Last year, Save Austin Now released audio of Adler saying he “eagerly” hopes for a day without police.
“There could be a day when we don’t need police, and I eagerly hope for the day when we get there, but that day isn’t today,” Adler said. “Yet, again, there is no city in the country that is doing more than Austin in reimagining public safety.”