New Dallas Police Policy For Foot Pursuit: "Chase The Fatter One"

Here’s what happened in Dallas in July 2012 that compelled the city to reconsider its policy on foot pursuit of suspects: 

Police responded to a 911 call after a reported kidnapping at a South Dallas house. Officers entering the home spotted a gun as four suspects scattered. Officers split up to chase the suspects.

The officer who chased James Harper, 31, later told investigators that he was exhausted by the time he ended up alone after chasing Harper over three fences and into a horse corral. During a struggle, and fearing he was losing the fight, the officer said, he shot Harper as the suspect reached into a pocket for what was thought to be a weapon. It wasn’t.

Harper, who had a lengthy criminal history including for dealing drugs, assaulting a security officer and evading arrest, died at the scene.

Houston Wants Cycling To Be Safer

In Houston, a new volley has been launched in the ongoing cold war between cyclists and motorists that occurs in every city. In addition to the previously-announced plans to close certain thoroughfares to automobile traffic over the spring—a plan intended to benefit pedestrians and cyclists both, perhaps at the expense of some people’s most convenient commuting routes—the city’s doing a few other things. 

One of those things is developing a comprehensive bike safety program, which will cost $50,000 and result in an official-sounding Bicycle Management Plan that will provide guidance for infrastructure development and offer recommendations on where and how to create more dedicated bike lanes on Houston streets

Texas Isn't Saying Where It Got Its New Supply of Pentobarbital

The last time we talked about Pentobarbital, it was because the state was on the verge of running out of the drug it uses to perform lethal injections on death row inmates. At the time, it looked like Texas would have some difficulty coming up with a new supply, because the “compounding pharmacy” from which the last batch had been ordered received a strong PR pushback from death penalty opponents

The state, however, found a novel way to assuage the fears of the supplier of the new batch—it’s simply refusing to release the source of the drug. As the Associated Press reports

Robert Rodriguez Is Not Suing The State Of Texas, But One Of His Financiers Is

 “As always, I stand with Texas” is a pretty badass way to declare that one isn’t a party to a lawsuit against their home state. That was the sign-off that filmmaker Robert Rodriguez used when he responded to a suit filed by a financier against the Texas Film Commission for failing to provide certain incentives for making the movie in-state. 

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the lawsuit—filed by Machete Productions LLC—claims that the financier “spent millions of dollars in Texas and created hundreds of jobs for Texans producing the film,” and that the Film Commission “improperly denied the grant based on a perception that the film glorifies the role of a Mexican Federale (Mexican Federal Police Officer) and sympathizes with immigrants.”

Revenge Porn Isn't Illegal In Texas, But It Can Cost You Half a Million Dollars

Let’s get this out of the way: “Revenge porn,” or the act of sharing private, nude images of a person without their consent, is an odious, vile thing. It’s not the fault of the person who allowed the photos to be taken, it’s the fault of the person who chooses to share the photos. And, as courts found last month, it’s not something that should go unpunished. A Houston woman was awarded $500,000 in damages after photos that she had shared with her ex-boyfriend ended up posted, maliciously and with ill-intent, on a number of websites. ABC 13-KTRK in Houston explains

Police Should Be Educated About Laws Surrounding Service Animals

Here’s a charming anecdote about Governor Rick Perry: When signing legislation that involves animals, he likes to get a dog to put its paw in ink and co-sign the legislation with him. (In the above photo, the Governor and a pup named Loco sign a bill about animal cruelty.) When he signed HB 489 last June, which made it a misdemeanor—punishable with a minimum $300 fine and thirty days of community services—for businesses to deny entry to service animals, he was joined by Boots, the service dog of Army Spc. Adan Gallegos. Regardless of your feelings on the Governor, let us all come together and acknowledge that this is adorable. 

Dan Patrick's Twitter Typo Was Heard 'Round The World

State senator Dan Patrick, former talk radio host and potential Lt. Governor nominee, found himself something of an Internet celebrity yesterday. If by “celebrity,” you mean “punchline,” which in this case, we do—quite literally. 

That is to say, his tweet in response to the gay marriage ruling handed down yesterday by a federal court that found Texas’ ban to be unconstitutional turned the candidate and state senator into today’s living example of “read that tweet twice before you send it.” 

SXSW Travesty: Lady Gaga Won't Play Inside A Giant Doritos Vending Machine

Bad news, Little Monsters: You’re not going to be able to crash down onto a parking lot on 5th Street in Austin to catch Lady Gaga perform a free show from within the confines of a 56-foot-tall Doritos vending machine.

The makeshift Doritos stage that pops up in a parking lot on 5th St. between Red River and Trinity for a week every March is one of SXSW’s more curious spectacles, where free performances from people who normally pack amphitheaters, arenas, or bigger occur. Snoop Dogg inaugurated the stage in 2012, while last year, the “Kings Of The Mic” tour, featuring LL Cool J, Ice Cube, and Public Enemy were the marquee act. 

ExxonMobil CEO Doesn't Want a Fracking Operation Near His Backyard

Fracking is one of the most controversial energy issues in Texas. The process of hydraulic fracturing involves injecting fluid into rocks and rock formations in order to further open already-present cracks in those rocks—a process that takes place underground, and allows more oil and gas to flow from the cracks. Energy companies have made a big play on fracking in order to increase supply to meet growing demand, without having to invest in expensive or untested alternative sources of energy. 

Opponents of fracking, meanwhile, point to research that says that the process is dangerous for a number of reasons, ranging from groundwater contamination and mishandled waste to an increased propensity for earthquakes. 

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Had a Bad Weekend

For Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, the past few days have not been what one might describe as banner days. On Thursday morning, during a jaywalking enforcement exercise, a young woman near the University of Texas campus was addressed by an officer for crossing against the light while jogging. She had headphones on at the time—as many joggers do—and a witness claims that she didn’t hear the officer who called to her. Moments later, witnesses say, the officer grabbed her arm as she continued jogging. At that point, the jogger recoiled from the stranger grabbing her from behind, leading the officer to handcuff her, call over three fellow officers, and finally arrest the young woman for failure to identify herself. 


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