The Court of Criminal Appeals Ruled That Police Can't Take Blood From DWI Suspects Without a Warrant

Over recent years, a DWI enforcement policy called “no refusal weekend” has become increasingly popular in Texas cities. During weekends when DWI arrests are more common—usually holiday weekends, or on days like St. Patrick’s Day or Super Bowl Sunday—police will institute a policy that essentially prevents DWI suspects from refusing to provide a blood or breath sample to an arresting officer. 

No Refusal Weekend policies have been controversial since they started popping up in Texas about a decade ago: Nobody wants to be on the road with drunk drivers, but there’s been a longstanding Fourth Amendment concern with the process. Is it “unreasonable search and seizure” to be forced to provide a blood sample without a warrant and based solely on a police officer’s suspicion that you’re drunk? 

Here's Everything We Know about the Man Who Shot up Downtown Austin on Thanksgiving Night

 

(This post has been updated following the Austin Police Department’s press conference on McQuilliams.)

No one was hurt besides the shooter. That’s perhaps the most important thing to take away from what happened in downtown Austin late on Thursday night/early Friday morning, when 49-year Steve McQuilliams went on a shooting spree. It was after 2am, after the bars were closed, and it happened on Thanksgiving, which meant that the normally-robust Thursday night crowd in downtown Austin was limited. Instead, McQuilliams fired hundreds of bullets into the Austin Police Department headquarters, the Mexican Consulate, and the Federal Courthouse.

The shooting started shortly before 2:30 in the morning, according to reports. 11 minutes after the first shots were reported, McQuilliams was dead outside of APD headquarters.

Here’s what we do know right now: 

A Taylor Woman Who Raised $4,500 on GoFundMe for a Family She Didn't Know Was Arrested for Fraud

When Jessica Rodriguez, of Taylor, died of complications a few days after giving birth to her third child, it left her partner, Moses Perez, in more than one horrible situation. In addition to losing the mother of his children as the two were planning their wedding, he also has to pay her medical bills and funeral costs. 

Car Thieves in Haltom City Tried to Steal a Running Unmarked Police Car with a Detective in It

Today we bring you a really, really dumb story out of Haltom City, where a pair of would-be car thieves looking for empty, running cars warming up on a cold morning attempted to jack an unmarked police car. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports

It was about 5:15 a.m., still dark with temperatures in the low 20s, when the two men in a black Ford Mustang showed interest in a running car outside a residence in the northwest part of the city.

Much to their misfortune, Haltom City Detective Tony Miller was sitting in the car.

“I hadn’t been in the car but a minute, and I saw this car drive by, turn around and park right alongside me on the street,” Miller said.

“I thought this wasn’t going to turn out good, so I pulled out my gun and waited.”

“The passenger got out, came up to the door and wiped frost off my window,” he said. “He may not have been able to see inside, so he opened my front door.

“When he looked inside, I said, ‘Police! Show me your hands.’ ”

A McAllen-Based Pets Website Is Being Sued for Selling People Sick Dogs

Reasonable people can disagree about the ethics of paying big sums for purebred puppies. There are countless animals in shelters who need a home and will never find one, but there are also people who need or want a very specific breed of dog for a number of reasons, be they allergy-related, emotional, a matter of status, or something else. So while the idea of spending $3,500 on a purebred pup might sound repugnant to some, selling someone a dying dog is just evil.

Texarkana Murder Mystery

In 1946 four brutal crimes occurred in less than three months in Texarkana. Three were violent attacks on young people parked on lovers’ lanes on the Texas side of town; the fourth was the shooting of a middle-aged couple in their rural farmhouse on the Arkansas side. At the end of the spree, three people had been seriously wounded and five had been shot dead. The traumatized survivors gave the police little to go on. Fear paralyzed the town.

Students, Beware of "Breast Perception Studies"

Here is a creepy thing: A 23-year-old internal technology resident who was recruited out of UT-Dallas by Google was arrested by the FBI late last week after they uncovered a “catfish”-style scheme he allegedly created to extort nude photos out of at least one of his former classmates. 

The details on the allegations are pretty gross. According to documents obtained by the Smoking Gun, the scheme worked like this: The man posed as a researcher who was conducting a “breast perception study.” He emailed women who were asked “to submit nude photographs of their breasts in order to be considered for participation in the study.” Those who qualified would be paid $4,500. The purported project—which solicited the photos from the email address “[email protected]“—claimed to study “the public’s perception of different breast types.”

A Shooting on Spring Grove Avenue

A light drizzle was falling in the early morning hours of May 9, 2010, when detective Dwayne Thompson pulled up in front of a modest home on Spring Grove Avenue, in a tree-lined neighborhood in North Dallas. A uniformed officer walked over and told Thompson that the house belonged to a man named Michael Burnside, age thirty. At around twelve-thirty, the officer continued, a woman had called 911 from the house.

Horrible Video Shows a Cleburne Police Officer Calling To, Then Shooting, a Tail-Wagging Dog

Over the past few days, a video that was taken by a Cleburne police officer’s body camera went viral. To say that it’s disturbing is an understatement—we’d strongly advise against watching it. It involves the officer in question walking through what appears to be a residential neighborhood and approaching two dogs that are some distance away, near a drainage ditch. The officer attempts to summon the dogs by clicking his tongue against his teeth (you know, with “here, boy!” kissy noises) and then, as the dogs look up at him, tails wagging, he fires three times before we can see what happens: One of the dogs lies on the ground, while the other runs away from him. As the second dog backs away, the officer pursues it, and then both the dog and the officer stop. The officer raises his gun again, his radio makes a noise, and the video ends.

Dallas Is Considering Prosecuting the Ebola Patient Who Came into the Country from Liberia

(UPDATE: Thomas Eric Duncan died from the disease October 8.)

When Ebola came to Texas last week, the panic it caused was understandable: Ebola is a horrific disease that kills people effectively and gruesomely. Current estimates put the number of people who’ve been infected in West Africa at more than 7,000—and infections are by many accounts severely under-reported. Still, the disease is unlikely to spread in an epidemic-like fashion in the US, given the differences (both culturally and economically) between somewhere like Dallas and a place like Sierra Leone or Liberia. Home care, as opposed to hospital care, increases the risk of transmitting the disease significantly, and simple hand-washing can eliminate the disease. Sunlight, bleach, and heat all kill it. 

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