The Houston Chronicle reports that the controversial “bathroom bill” that passed a preliminary vote this week in the Texas Senate had one particularly striking phalanx of opposition: police chiefs. Top cops from around the state called on the Senate to abandon the bill, saying it would make their jobs harder. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said there is no crisis in bathrooms and that the Legislature could be creating a distraction for police. “It’s bad law,” Acevedo said. “It’s bad political theater. And at the end of the day, it is bad for Texas.” Acevedo and dozens of other law enforcement officials rallied on the steps of the Capitol to plead with the Senate to drop the issue.
Harris County Assistant Chief Debra Schmidt said there has been no spike in crime that merits the new legislation. “There is no public safety crisis in our bathrooms right now,” Schmidt said. Acevedo said his agency dug through the last three years of records and found no evidence that the state needed to set statewide bathroom policies. The show of force from police followed a week of pushback from business leaders and tourism groups that worry that Texas is following the same path as North Carolina, which passed a similar law in 2016 that triggered boycotts.