The State of Texas: June 8, 2015
Bad Idea Monday
It’s difficult to decide which is more confounding: that two teachers and a principal from Sulphur Springs Middle School thought it was a good idea to give out “Ghetto Awards” or that they’d been handing out the racist/classist awards as a “joke” for the past eight years. Regardless, the school district is now looking into the matter. Below is one student’s award for saying “huh” a lot.
Video Of The Day
Football kickers don’t get a lot of glory, mostly because they’re on the field for a total of two seconds and their failures ring much louder than their successes. However, the Longhorns kicker Nick Rose has found a way to really give the position some pizzazz. Call it a backflip field goal, and it could be a legal move worth 100 points.
— Trey Holtz (@TreyHoltz) June 6, 2015
Troubled Waters – Over the weekend, a video surfaced on YouTube showing a McKinney officer being rather rough with a black teenage girl on Friday evening. “The profanity-laced seven-minute video, posted to YouTube on Saturday, had been viewed more than 2.5 million times Sunday,” writes the Dallas Morning News. “It shows white police officers trying to control black teens who had scattered as officers arrived in the neighborhood.” The officer is now on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated. The situation escalated after police were called about a group of “unwelcome teenagers” that neighbors reported to be crashing an affluent community’s neighborhood pool. In CNN’s coverage, a “law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director” was asked to assess the video, but it doesn’t take a professional to see most of the trouble captured on video came from the one officer now on leave, who “appeared to be ‘running around almost like a one-man band’ … and other officers appeared to distance themselves from him.” The officer also appeared to pull his firearm when two teenage boys approached him as he was trying to subdue the girl in a bathing suit. A total of twelve officers were dispatched to the scene because the kids had allegedly refused to leave and began physically fighting (conservative news outlet Breitbart posted video). This incident didn’t end tragically, though. McKinney police chief Greg Conley said there were no injuries, no teenagers were arrested, and “one adult, who was not identified, was arrested for interfering in the police investigation.”
Biker Power – Three weeks after the Waco shootout, “several hundred bikers protested Sunday outside a courthouse in Waco over the continued jailing of more than 100 bikers, friends and family members three weeks after a deadly shootout at a restaurant,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “Bikers proclaimed their constitutional rights and held signs outside the McLennan County courthouse. Before they parked in front of the court building, they circled the jail and detention center twice.” But there appears to be something of a rebellion inside a rebellious group: the Confederation of Clubs and Independents actually ”urged members in an email to avoid the protest.” Even three weeks out, accounts of what happened still vary. It doesn’t help that “authorities still have not said how many of the dead and wounded were the result of police fire,” saying the report could hurt the investigation, according to the Morning News. “Police have identified only one assault weapon, a semiautomatic that fires high-powered ammunition, among the firearms confiscated from bikers, and that was found in a locked car after the shooting ended.” Witnesses are coming forward saying they heard primarily small-caliber, semi-automatic fire, the suggestion being it sounded a lot like that of the standard Glock 9mm used by police. About 120 bikers who were at Twin Peaks when the shootout occurred remain in jail.
Detainment Detour – It was only a year ago, with the surge of migrant families coming over the border, that officials made a big to-do about detainment facilities being built properly to humanely house all those who needed to be turned away. Now those plans have hit a snag. The latest incident to bring attention to the uncomfortable subject is the pregnant teen who tried to commit suicide at the Karnes City facility. But problems go deeper than that. “As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement expands the centers to make space for the next wave of arrivals, the agency faces legal and political challenges that could shut them down,” writes the Associated Press. The legal challenge is happening in California where a federal judge has tentatively ruled that family detention “violates parts of a 1997 settlement in a case known as Flores V. Meese. The settlement stipulates migrant children must be released only to foster care, relatives or—if they must be held—in the least restrictive environment possible in facilities licensed to care for children.” The ICE spokeswoman, according to the Los Angeles Times, “said she could not discuss pending cases, but called family detention centers a “humane alternative for maintaining family unity” during waits for court hearings. As for the government’s suggestion that it might have to release children while keeping parents in custody, it’s unclear how that would work.” The political pressure continues as well with 136 Democrats calling “on Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to stop confining families.”
Come and Sand It – Beachfront stories don’t get more Texas than this. Frank Maceo has started a feud with the state over who owns the beach in front of his Galveston house. “Galveston officials say Maceo’s claim to land deeded to his relatives could endanger a plan to put new sand on eroding beaches in front of the seawall and, if the claim is successful, encourage others to make similar claims,” details the San Antonio Express-News. For those not familiar with beach property laws in Texas, “the key question is whether the beach Maceo claims is private has been submerged in the past and recreated with sand hauled in by the Park Board. The Texas Supreme Court has said that once land is submerged it reverts to the state. If new sand creates a new beach, the state retains ownership.” It’s sort of a BFD, since nutty beachside owners could “come out of the woodwork” to stake their claim. The General Land Office is planning on doing a survey in the following months, but Maceo is obviously ready for a fight—since 2012 he’s expanded his tent-and-chair business and his sand property claim, not to mention “flying a flag with the words, ‘come and take it.’”