The State of Texas: The Aftermath of Dallas
Plus: Police fatally shoot an African-American man in Houston, Greg Abbott gets burned, and a North Texas town just can’t deal with pigeons.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It never crossed my mind not to help whether he’s got a gun or a badge. If he falls down, I’m gonna help him.”
—Nick Kelton, an inmate being held at the Parker County District Courts building, to WFAA. Kelton and some fellow inmates busted out of their holding cell to help a guard who collapsed after suffering an apparent heart attack. The guard survived.
Healing in Dallas
The days following the sniper attack in Dallas that killed five law enforcement officers and wounded eleven other people have been marked, mostly, by calls for peace and reflection. The Dallas Morning News has profiled each of the victims who have been identified so far, including the nine officers and two civilians who were injured. According to CNN, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former President George W. Bush will attend a memorial service in Dallas on Tuesday for the officers who were killed. Dallas police remained on high alert throughout the weekend, and there was another scare on Saturday afternoon when a man wearing a mask was spotted in the parking garage of police headquarters. But according to the Morning News, SWAT teams searched the garage and came up empty. As Dallas mourns the loss of its officers, more details are emerging that shed light on how and why this happened. Investigators believe that Micah Johnson, the suspected shooter who was killed during a standoff with police, acted alone. Johnson, a former Army reservist who served in Afghanistan, has been described by childhood acquaintances, those who knew him in the military, and law enforcement investigators as a “loner,” according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement searched his home in Mesquite after the shooting and found an arsenal including “bomb-making materials,” weapons, ammo and vests. Neighbors said they had seen Johnson performing what looked like military training routines in his yard. Police also found a journal, which reveals Johnson’s “fascination with shoot-and-scoot tactics,” amid mostly scattered thoughts and ramblings.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Another Police Shooting
Just days after the tragedy in Dallas, police in Houston shot and killed an African-American man. Early Saturday morning, Alva Braziel became the latest victim in a particularly deadly week, one in which the deaths of Minnesota’s Philando Castille and Alton Sterling in Louisiana sparked nationwide protests. According to Houston’s KTRK, police said two officers found Braziel standing in the middle of the road in South Houston holding a gun. Police said the officers ordered him to drop the gun, and he momentarily “raised his weapon pointing it in the air” before lowering it and pointing it at the two officers. Surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows Braziel had his hands up in the air at one point before he was shot, but it’s unclear from the tape whether he pointed his gun at police. The incident appears to have unfolded quickly, and Braziel was shot ten times. Police said both officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. According to the Houston Chronicle, friends and family of Braziel said he had been out looking for a stolen horse.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Governor Greg Abbott suffered second- and third-degree burns on his legs after being accidentally scalded by hot water while on vacation in Wyoming last week, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Sunday. Details of the hot water accident remain unclear. Despite the burns, Abbott still made the trek to Dallas following the sniper attack, where “he talked of healing, giving not the slightest indication of how his own ravaged body was, even as he spoke, struggling mightily to heal from fresh and grievous wounds,” the Statesman wrote. Abbott is expected to make a full recovery, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, where he is to be an at-large delegate. Abbott also may not attend the memorial service in Dallas on Thursday. “Everything right now is up in the air,” an spokesman told the Texas Tribune. “We’re really taking it day to day, hour to hour.”
A legion of pesky pigeons has invaded the undersides of highway overpasses in Wichita Falls, and the town is at an absolute loss as to how to deal with the birds. According to the Wichita Falls Times-Record-News, the pigeon situation has been a problem for more than ten years, and there’s no end in sight (don’t forget, the town is still reeling from an ongoing invasion of painted gnomes). At first, the city asked the Texas Department of Transportation for help, but TxDOT said it just didn’t have the special capabilities needed to handle pigeons. The city then tried using “slinky-like devices” to oust the pigeons, but the birds were apparently too smart to fall for that old trick. Metal barriers attached to the underside of the overpasses were similarly ineffective. The city’s fleet management department faced the grim task of “setting traps, gathering the trapped birds and euthanizing them by hand,” which, unsurprisingly, also didn’t result in shrinking the pest population. Wichita Falls is hopeful that it has found an answer in a promising Amarillo-based pest control company. The birds, meanwhile, leave behind a big mess on the overpasses, including “18-inch thick layers of pigeon feces.” Lovely!
WHAT WE’RE READING
It’s been one year since Sandra Bland’s arrest and in-custody death Houston Chronicle
Open carry made things really confusing as the Dallas shooting unfolded New York Times
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick sort of walks back his disturbing comments after Dallas CNN
Chris Kyle’s medal count wasn’t as high as he said it was USA Today
It’s baby turtle season on South Padre Island McAllen Monitor