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Attorney General Ken Paxton suing Killeen over Prop A

Attorney General Ken Paxton suing Killeen over Prop A, a look back at how we got here pic.jpg
Posted at 6:42 PM, Feb 02, 2024

KILLEEN, Texas — The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, is suing the City of Killeen over Proposition A, which decriminalizes low-level marijuana possession.

In 2022, 25 News spoke with a lot of voters leading up to the election in November of that year.

”Proposition A would basically dramatically change the trajectory of young people in Killeen," one voter said.

In that November 2022 election, voters in Killeen overwhelmingly voted to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession inside city limits.

”It would decriminalize that people wouldn’t be arrested for that if that was the only thing they could be arrested for,” said Amanda Hughes with Texas for Responsible Marijuana Policy while speaking to 25 News in 2022.

As it stands right now, Killeen Police officers are not allowed to simply arrest citizens for possession of four ounces or less of marijuana.

By the end of 2022, Bell County Commissioners voted unanimously to take the city to court and force them to drop the ordinance.

In April of 2023, 25 News spoke with the Bell County Attorney, Jim Nichols about the case.

He claimed that Prop A violates the state constitution.

“Taking away the possibility of being arrested in a criminal case — it in fact suspends the law,” Nichols said in 2024.

“The Texas constitution says that on the legislature can suspend the law.”

Killeen City Council members say they voted to go ahead with Prop A because close to 70 percent of the voters approved it, and now those council members are named as defendants in the Attorney General's case.

Since Prop A was passed, the Killeen Police Department has a new chief.

25 News reporter Adam Schindler reached out to him for a comment and got an email response:

“Adam, due to a pending litigation, Chief Lopez cannot comment on Prop A — thank you,” KPD officials said in the email.

25 News also reached out to several Killeen council members who did not respond to my request for comment.

The one who did, said he is willing to comment on being named as a defendant but needs to check with the city attorney first — to avoid interfering with the city’s side of the case.