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Justin Berry, one of 19 Austin officers indicted and accused of using excessive force at a protest against police brutality in 2020, advanced to a runoff in the GOP race for a Texas House seat, according to Decision Desk HQ.
Berry will face former Austin City Council member Ellen Troxclair in the Republican runoff for Central Texas’ House District 19, which includes Fredericksburg, Boerne and Burnet. The primary comes about two weeks after a Travis County grand jury indicted Berry and 18 of his fellow officers.
Serving as a senior officer for the Austin Police Department for 14 years, one of Berry’s key campaign issues has been supporting law enforcement.
In a statement posted Feb. 18, Berry stood by his actions and said Travis County District Attorney José Garza targeted him and his fellow officers for doing their jobs. Berry also accused Garza of political motivations.
In a Feb. 17 press conference announcing the indictments, Garza said many of the protesters injured were innocent bystanders. Two men shot by police with lead-pellet beanbag rounds agreed to a $10 million settlement with Austin officials.
Troxclair, who served on the Austin City Council for four years, was the youngest woman to ever serve on the council.
Troxclair and Berry lead in a GOP primary that included two other candidates. The winner of a May runoff will face Democrat Pam Baggett. The current representative for House District 19 is James White, R-Hillister, who resigned to run for state agriculture commissioner.