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'Sundown Town': Group Issues Travel Warning For Black People Visiting San Antonio
The Defund SAPD Coalition has issued a travel warning for San Antonio. The group has labeled the Texas city a “sundown town” warning both residents and visitors of recent incidents involving law enforcement.
Defund SAPD is a local group advocating for funding changes within the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department. The local group wants elected officials to reallocate money to health and housing programs in the community.
There are four levels within the group’s advisory: Exercise normal precaution, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel, and do not travel. Defund SAPD believes San Antonio is in the “reconsider travel” phase, as reported in My San Antonio.
“San Antonio is a sundown town for Black residents and visitors,” a news release said. “A travel advisory has been issued to warn that any Black people traveling to San Antonio use increased caution when in the city due to the city’s policing policies that put Black Lives in danger.”
The travel advisory was prompted by Mathias Ometu, a Black jogger who was stopped and questioned for a crime he didn’t commit. Ometu was arrested and held in jail for two days when he didn’t disclose his name to the police, which is his right.
On Aug. 25, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar shot and killed 30-year-old Damian Daniels.
Daniels, who is a combat veteran, was experiencing a mental health crisis.
Sundown Towns History
Sundown towns have been known to be all-white cities where Black Americans knew they were not welcome once the sun went down.
In sundown towns across the Midwest, Black Americans were reportedly denied housing, persecuted, or violently evicted during a period from the 1890s to the 1940s.