QUOTE OF THE DAY
“What I think about constantly is the fact that I know my son—my sweet son Harrison—he would forgive this perpetrator and has already forgiven him. That’s the kind of person he was and the kind of heart he had. It gives me comfort knowing that.”
—Lori Brown to KXAN. Brown’s son Harrison was fatally stabbed at the University of Texas at Austin on Monday.
The long and contentious debate over Senate Bill 4, the legislation that would essentially ban local governments from implementing “sanctuary” policies for undocumented immigrants, is all but over. The Texas Senate finalized the bill’s passage through the Lege on Wednesday, voting 20-11 to accept the version of SB 4 passed by the House last week, according to the Texas Tribune. Now all that stands between SB 4 becoming a law is Governor Greg Abbott, who seems pretty eager to sign the legislation. On Wednesday night, Abbott tweeted a link to a story about the Senate’s final approval of the bill, adding, “I’m getting my signing pen warmed up.” When the ink is dry on SB 4, sheriffs, police chiefs, and other local government officials will be subject to a Class A misdemeanor if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agencies, and local municipalities and public colleges will face up to $25,500 in fines for failing to cooperate. Additionally, an amendment added to the House version of SB 4 allows law enforcement officers to ask for a person’s papers during a detainment, rather than only after an arrest is made. Critics of the bill say this amendment in particular, along with the rest of the bill, will lead to racial profiling and discrimination against immigrants. The bill was also hammered earlier this week in a scathing op-ed penned by a group of Texas police chiefs, who collectively condemned SB 4 on the grounds that it would actually make cities less safe and tax their officers. As the Tribune notes, several lawmakers have hinted at a lawsuit, so we just might see the SB 4 war continue in court. But it appears the battle in the Lege is over and done with.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
This has been a tough week for Texans; lots of bad, tragic news, from deadly tornadoes to the fatal police shooting of an black teen near Dallas to a stabbing attack at the University of Texas at Austin. The unfortunate streak continued Wednesday with a pair of deadly shootings in public spaces in North Texas. First was an apparent murder-suicide at North Lake College in Irving. According to the Dallas Morning News, the campus was placed on lockdown at 11:42 a.m. after shots were fired, and about an hour later police found two bodies, 20-year-old Janeera Nickol Gonzalez and 21-year old Adrian Victor Torres. Police said Torres had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. That’s pretty much all we know right now, but the incident left students terrified and shaken. Then, at 6:15 p.m. on the same day, a man walked into Arlington sports bar Zona Caliente and shot and killed an employee before the shooter was taken down by a customer with a gun, according to the Dallas Morning News. In addition to the two fatalities, one other person was injured by glass while attempting to flee during the shooting. Not much is known about the incident at this point.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets in a must-win game Wednesday night to tie the Western Conference Semifinals series one to one. But the Spurs lost veteran guard Tony Parker, who went down with an apparent left leg injury in the fourth quarter and had to be carried off by two teammates. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Parker will undergo an MRI on Thursday, but the general sense so far is that the point guard’s injury may be serious. “It’s not good,” head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game, according to ESPN. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili didn’t seem too optimistic, either. “It’s hard to see him limping and hurting now, and you kind of know we’re not going to see him anytime soon,” Ginobili said. “That’s a tough blow. We shall see. We don’t know.” The Spurs were already rolling when Parker went down, leading 97-83 before ultimately defeating the Rockets 121-96, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 34 points in a ridiculous 13-for-16 shooting performance. Leonard would likely move into a point-forward role should Parker miss time.
When news of Monday’s fatal stabbing at the University of Texas at Austin broke, it was quickly followed by reports of another stabbing incident in the nearby West Campus neighborhood. Well, Austin police checked that one out, and though they initially confirmed that there was a second stabbing incident, on Wednesday they said in a press release that the second stabbing wasn’t all that it seemed. According to KXAN, UT student Lewis Romel Yarbrough originally told police that he witnessed a man threatening a woman with a knife, and when Yarbrough stepped in to break it up, he was stabbed. This dude did get stabbed, but it was apparently the result of him playing with a knife. Not, you know, being attacked by an assailant. And get this: when Yarbrough finally admitted the truth to the police, he said he lied because he thought it would lead to his medical bills being covered. Now, in addition to his medical bills, he’s also facing potential criminal charges of giving a false report to a police officer.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
An Amarillo woman blew the whistle on sex trafficking, alcohol smuggling, theft, fraud, and more at an Iraqi air base Associated Press
Deported Texans are basically being delivered right into the hands of cartels KVUE
Ex-quarterback/current golfer Tony Romo is trying to qualify for the U.S. Open ESPN
Rex Tillerson isn’t going to let things like “human rights” get between the U.S. and a good deal anymore Associated Press
The Mayor of Canton is trying to find the owners of a bunch of photographs that blew away in the tornado KYTX