Security vs. freedom: How terrorist attacks impact your local government

Berlin crash scene (NBC News live video still)
Berlin crash scene (NBC News live video still)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Monday’s attacks in Germany and Turkey could have an impact here in Texas. Many Texans are turning to leaders and policies that reinforce security, but it may infringe on civil liberties.

“It’s very difficult to protect soft target and large gatherings of people and you can only at times — do what you can,” said Fred Burton, vice president of Stratfor. He says departments like APD are always looking at global events to predict safety measures at local events like the Trail of Lights.

“There will be lessons learned that will come out of this,” said Burton.

Public policy professor Jeremi Suri says, “They also reinforce prejudices people have towards certain groups so we are likely to see more anti-Muslim rhetoric. We’re likely to see more restrictions on civil rights.”

He cites recent examples, such as Texas opting out of the refugee resettlement program, Donald Trump campaigning on “America First” plans to clamp down on people trying to get into the country and Texas leaders moving to punish cities that offer sanctuary to people coming here illegally.

“There are moments historically when we see more integration and moments when we see more separation. And we’re in a separatist moment,” said Suri.

How much these attacks impact policy will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.

The University of Texas reports all faculty and students in Berlin are safe and accounted for. We also checked with Texas State, but they say they don’t have any students studying abroad in Germany right now.