Police Chief William McManus' boss has his back in the growing controversy over his release of 12 illegal immigrants during a human smuggling stop on the northeast side last month, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
In a statement, City Manager Sheryl Sculley says she will not put McManus on Administrative leave, as demanded by the San Antonio Police Officers Association."No rule, directive, regulation, or law was broken or circumvented," Sculley said of McManus' actions. "The Chief acted within his jurisdiction and, as acknowledged by federal law enforcement, had no real authority to hold the 12 individuals after they were questioned."
Sculley said Homeland Security Investigations was not 'waved off' by the Chief has has been claimed, and she says 'at no time did SAPD restrict or prevent HSI from taking custody of the individuals.'
The Police Union says McManus acted outside of SAPD policy, and may have mistaken the crimes of 'human trafficking' and 'human smuggling' when he referred to the 12 illegal immigrants as 'victims.'
Union boss Michael Helle, in a letter to City Council first revealed by 1200 WOAI news, said individuals are victims in human trafficking cases because they are being transported against their will.
He says in 'human smuggling' cases, which this incident is, the people involved are part of the criminal conspiracy because they paid to be smuggled, and, in fact, the crime itself would not be taking place were it not for their desire to be smuggled.
"One HSI agent responded to the scene, was present at SAPD headquarters and was provided access to the 12 individuals,' Sculley said.