Police chiefs from all over Texas gathered to protest the state's "bathroom bill" as politicians pushed through new legislation impacting transgender people.
The State Senate approved the bill 21-10 on Tuesday but the measure still faces some obstacles and must go back to the Texas House of Representatives.
“Will we now be required to stand at the doors of bathrooms and ask for your birth certificate?” asked San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. “This bill will create discomfort on steroids.”
The state's top law officers don't want to close the door on the bathroom bill, they want to slam it shut, our affiliate KEYE reports.
“Like police don't have anything better to do but worry about who goes in what bathroom,” McManus said.
Protesting law enforcement officers said that there is no proof that bathroom predators exist.
“Not one,” said McManus, who is police chief in San Antonio.
“Zero claims,” said Dallas Police Major Rueben Ramirez.
“A nonexistent problem,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Law officers in all major Texas cities, including Austin, say their recent arrest data shows a bathroom bill is unnecessary.
“It is merely an attempt to solve a problem that I do not believe exists and have not seen any evidence that it exists,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Austin's current police chief and a former one both say a bathroom bill is not worthy of a special session.
“It's like Groundhog Day," Acevedo said. "It's almost like here we are, again."
Acevedo worries the bathroom bill will further marginalize transgender Texans.
“Folks will feel emboldened. They will feel that they can discriminate. They will feel that they can target and they will feel that they can have vigilante justice out there because of this law."
The enforcers of laws want their makers to stop before they vote on the bathroom bills and try to answer this question.
Police say they are waiting to see what enforcement provisions and penalties are included in any bathroom bill that becomes law during this special session of the Texas Legislature.
Affiliate KEYE contributed to this report.