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Attorney General Ken Paxton sues city of San Antonio over sanctuary cities violation

Ken Paxton speaks at the Texas State Rifle Association General Meeting in Round Rock on Feb. 25, 2017. (Photo: Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune)

UPDATE 4:14 p.m.:

The San Antonio Police Officers Association is calling for Chief William McManus to be put on administrative leave.

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Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Friday in Travis Country against the city of San Antonio for violating the sanctuary cities law.

The lawsuit was filed against the city of San Antonio, its police department, chief of police and the city manager to require compliance with Senate Bill 4. It accuses Chief William McManus of violating the law when he refused to turn over migrants in a human smuggling case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. McManus released the migrants instead.

“Senate Bill 4 guarantees cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement to protect Texans,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Unfortunately, some municipalities, such as San Antonio, put the safety of police officers and the public at risk by defying state law. The court should grant our request for injunctions and civil penalties against San Antonio to send a message that all Texas cities must obey the law.”

McManus and several other big-city police chiefs opposed the law. McManus argued his department had no legal authority to hold the migrants and that police released them to Catholic Charities.

His decision infuriated top Texas Republicans who pushed for the law. Paxton, who is under indictment for securities fraud, opened an investigation into McManus.

The city responded Friday with a statement accusing Paxton of "furthering a political agenda."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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