QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The whole thing is absolutely ludicrous. There’s no way El Chapo has $14 billion. This is political grandstanding.”
—Alejandro Hope to the Houston Chronicle. Hope was one of many analysts the Chronicle spoke to about Senator Ted Cruz’s recent legislation called “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order,” which reduces to the acronym ELCHAPO. Cruz is proposing the U.S. government tap into the Mexican drug lord’s supposedly massive stack of cash and use it to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall.
One person was killed and three injured in a stabbing attack at the University of Texas at Austin on Monday afternoon. Freshman Harrison Brown was fatally stabbed in the incident, which took place in a busy area outside Gregory Gym and lasted a few minutes before the suspect, also a student, was subdued by police. According to KXAN, officials said the suspect, 21-year-old Kendrex White, had a “large, Bowie-style” hunting knife, and when an officer ordered him to the ground he complied without resisting and was taken into custody inside the Jester West building. There are still a ton of things we don’t know, including what might have motivated White to do such a horrific thing. The incident also raised concern among UT students, some who felt the campus-wide alert system was too slow in notifying students that there had been a stabbing. According to the Austin American-Statesman, many students became aware of the incident through social media long before they received any official alert from UT. The three victims who were injured were also students, and two have already been released from the hospital. “There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” UT President Greg Fenves said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, the witnesses to the crime, and every member of Longhorn nation. We all mourn today.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Activists staged a daylong sit-in blocking the entrance of the State Insurance Building on Monday to protest Senate Bill 4, legislation that could effectively ban local governments from implementing sanctuary policies. More than two dozen of the protesters were arrested Monday evening and charged with misdemeanor trespassing, according to the Texas Tribune, marking the end of an act of civil disobedience that had begun at around ten in the morning. Among those placed in handcuffs include a local pastor and an Austin city councilman. “We know [Governor Greg Abbott] has set his stake into passing this unconstitutional and anti-immigrant law,” Councilman Greg Casar told a crowd of protesters after he was released from custody, according to the Tribune. “This community, we are gonna rise up. The day he signs the bill is only the real beginning of the fight on SB 4.”
The Balch Springs Police Department originally claimed that a police officer fatally shot a black teen Saturday night because the car he was in was driving in an “aggressive manner,” but the chief of police retracted that statement on Monday. At a press conference, Police Chief Jonathan Haber said that after reviewing body camera footage from the incident, the car was actually fleeing when the officer opened fire, according to the Dallas Morning News. Haber said the officer’s actions “did not meet our core values.” Fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards was shot in the head by the officer late Saturday night as he was leaving a party. Police had been called to the area after a resident complained about alleged underage drinking, and when officers arrived they heard gun shots, ran outside, and saw Edwards’s car backing away from the scene. The family’s attorney said Edwards and four other teens had also heard the gun shots and were simply attempting to get away from the party. The officer has not yet been publicly named, and he’s on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
Out Of The Running
U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro announced Monday that he won’t be challenging Ted Cruz for Senate in 2018. It looked like Castro had been angling for a Senate run for a while, but he’d apparently been non-committal right up until last week, according to the Texas Tribune. “I’ve kept my pledge to fight for hard-working Texans, and I’ll keep doing that,” Castro said in the email to supporters announcing his decision. “However, with the threats posed by Russia and North Korea, coupled with the reckless behavior of this Administration and their failure to invest in economic opportunity for the American people, at this time I believe I can best continue that work by focusing on my duties in the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees.” This opens the door for upstart congressman Beto O’Rourke, who announced his candidacy last month. It appears as though the 2018 Senate race will be a one-on-one affair: Beto vs. Ted. Let’s get ready to rumble.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Tomi Lahren settled her lawsuit against Glenn Beck Dallas Morning News
The Rockets surprised the Spurs by utterly dismantling them on the road in game one Houston Chronicle
A lawsuit alleges a pattern of excessive force against the mentally ill by El Paso police El Paso Times
A Baylor frat threw a racist “Cinco de Drinko” party, including construction worker costumes and brown face Waco Tribune-Herald
Someone stole the ashes of a Lubbock woman’s husband when her home was burglarized KLBK