Austin mayor apologizes after being accused of falling asleep at officer’s memorial service

An image circulated on social media of Mayor Steve Adler with closed eyelids and his head tucked down during the one-hour service


By Amanda Spence

AUSTIN, Texas — The mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, is apologizing after being accused of falling asleep during a memorial service on Monday for Austin police officer Tony Martin. The officer was killed September in a motorcycle crash on his way home from working a night shift.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, a photo was shared on social media that showed Adler with closed eyelids and his head tucked down while seated with officials at the time of the service.

In a statement to the Austin American-Statesman, Adler didn’t say whether he had fallen asleep or not.

“I want to express my deepest apologies to the family of Officer Martin,” Adler wrote. “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. I hold Officer Martin in the highest regard. May his memory be a blessing to his family, and to the city he served.”

In 2020, Adler spearheaded a decision to remove $21 million in funding for the Austin Police Department. However, that money was later returned to the department’s budget.

Justin Berry, a police officer and a former political candidate, shared the photo on Twitter.

“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,” he wrote.

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