The State of Texas: June 16, 2015
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Unless you are a Texan, you cannot say stupid things about Texas, lest we bring the full wrath of our state bearing down upon you. Case in point, the response to Fredricka Whitfield, the CNN host who called the Dallas gunman “courageous and brave.” She has since apologized and said she “misspoke,” but Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is having none of it. Yesterday, he sent the following letter to CNN president Jeffrey Zucker, calling for Whitfield’s removal.
— Cody Lillich (@CodyLillich) June 15, 2015
Rangers to the Racial Rescue – Police aren’t so great at investigating police, which probably explains why the Texas Rangers have taken over the investigation of the McKinney pool incident. “I have full confidence in the good men and women of the McKinney Police Department and their ability to fully investigate this matter,” said Collin County district attorney Greg Willis in a press release. “At the same time, an independent investigation of this incident will add an important layer of transparency to the process.” As most of the news reports note, “Willis declined to further comment on the decision or incident because it’s an ongoing investigation.” McKinney police chief Greg Conley had his own statement yesterday as well, announcing that “his department will continue to review the incident ‘to evaluate current policies, practices, and procedures. The McKinney Police Department intends to be fully forthcoming and cooperative throughout the investigation.’”
Bikers Bite Back – Just as a wee bit more information is being released about the Waco Twin Peaks shootout, bikers are begining to come forward with their own complaints over treatment. Matthew Clendennen, a biker who was arrested during the incident, held a press conference yesterday detailing the federal civil rights lawsuit he has filed as a means to “address the ‘carelessness from the justice system’ that has tarnished his reputation,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. Clendennen filed his lawsuit at the end of last month, but the biker yesterday described how he was simply a witness who ended up with a $1 million bond (eventually $10,000) and two weeks in jail. “We’re supposed to believe in our justice system and that it’s supposed to operate in a way that protects us and also a way of innocent until proven guilty. . . . It seems very obvious here, they took the opposite approach, guilty until proven guilty.” Clendennen is suing the city, the county, a police officer, and the chief of police. Officials did not respond, citing the ongoing investigation. For more details of what Clendenne said, be sure to read the Twitter feed of the Waco Tribune’s Olivia Messer, who provided live coverage of the press conference.
To Be Protected and Serve – After the Dallas Police Department was shot up, officials are looking at making their cop shop bulletproof, to the tune of $1,000 per square foot. “Mayor Mike Rawlings vowed Monday that money would be no object in providing long-term protection for Dallas officers,” writes the Morning News. In addition to the bulletproof glass, “a metal detector was moved to the entrance of headquarters, and every visitor must pass through it. That’s a change from before, when only those entering secure areas went through the detector. . . . Rawlings’ safety promise was lauded by police associations,” but they said they’ve been calling for increased security measures since at least 2013. Now, “in the coming weeks, Rawlings said, Chief David Brown will provide a report to city officials on what the department needs.” The trick, say officials, is having a secured area without it seeming like an intimidating cage for victims and witnesses. Good luck.