This incident happened in Austin, Texas Friday evening.
KXAN TV frames this story with the following headline:
“APD officer says protesters pulled down and burned US, Texas flags”
The video KXAN provides in a tweet in its own story shows the protesters in action. They are massed outside Austin police headquarters. They are chanting “F*** the police!” over and over again. And they lower the Texas flag while cheering. The American flag appears to have been lowered before the recording started.
One of the two photos in the tweet shows the flags burning on the ground. So there’s a bit more here than just “APD officer says…” He provides visual evidence, and someone was broadcasting the events on Facebook live.
Another APD officer provides some description on Facebook.
So, Austin came much too close to having its own version of CHOP on Friday night. But here, the officers never abandoned their posts. No word on whether Mayor Steve Adler wanted them to or not.
Earlier Saturday, the Austin Police Association posted this on its Facebook feed.
Busy night, with a violent protest and two shootings. Note the sentences about retirements. Austin is on track to see twice as many police officer retirements in 2020 than usual.
APA notes this just a few days after the Austin city council voted unanimously to defund the police and the city manager followed up and announced the elimination of 100 sworn officer slots and delaying the current cadet class. The city may just not replace any of the officers who are voting with their feet and leaving in droves. In other contexts, media might frame this as a “brain drain” and a city setting out to “eat its young.”