Map of the Day
Someone get the the San Antonio Express-News a Pulitzer Prize. A genius at the paper decided to map out all 368 cases of public urination the city experienced last year, highlighting a”hot zone” around the downtown party district. Be sure to check out the investigative piece, but here’s a wee peek:
Yes, Sir, Officer — The brutal killing of Harris County sheriff’s deputy by a man with a history of mental illness has struck a chord with many officials around the state. Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick sent out a statement that offered a slew of suggestions for how Texans should conduct themselves around police, including calling them “sir and ma’am all of the time,” and paying for their meals whenever possible, writes the Austin American-Statesman. He ended the statement with “all lives matter and we need to put an end to this violence against law enforcement — now!” It’s understandable that authorities have rushed to protect those whose duty it is to protect us, but things seem particularly sensitive right now. A Sam Houston State University student was arrested after sending out an ill-advised tweet suggesting the deceased deputy had “creepy perv eyes” and deserved his fate. Technically, she wasn’t arrested for her tweet, but as the Houston Chronicle writes, “Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brady Fitzgerald confirmed on Wednesday that they received a call stating that Foy had an outstanding warrant for assault causing bodily harm out of Harris County. She was arrested at her home in the county after deputies checked the system.” In what might be another ill-advised move, a jail nurse was relieved of her position “after a supervisor thought she was seeking an autograph of the man accused of gunning down [the] sheriff’s deputy last week,” writes the Chronicle. “The nurse, who has not been identified, disputed that interpretation of the events, but still had her jailhouse credentials revoked.”
Tough Call — More details have emerged from the two most recent cases of officer-involved shootings. There’s now a possible explanation as to why the college student Christian Taylor was acting erratically at an Arlington car dealership just before he was taken down by police last month. According to the medical examiner’s report released Wednesday, Taylor had synthetic drugs and marijuana in his system, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. While the marijuana wouldn’t have caused the violence, synthetic drugs that attempt to mimic the effects of weed or, in Taylor’s case, LSD, have been known to have adverse effects. The lawyer for the Taylor family said, “Regardless of what may have been in his system, this was still an unjustified death of a young man.” Meanwhile, a second video has been released of two officers shooting a man who first appeared to have his hands raised at the time of his death in Bexar County. “Although it’s unclear from the video what 41-year-old Gilbert Flores may have been holding while facing deputies with his hands up outside of a home near San Antonio, investigators believe it was a knife, [Sheriff Susan Pamerleau],” according to the Dallas Morning News.”She declined to say whether investigators recovered a knife from the scene after the shooting.”
New Recruit — “Baylor’s board of regents announced Wednesday that it has hired a Philadelphia law firm to conduct a ‘thorough and independent external investigation’ into how the university handles cases of alleged sexual violence,” according to the Waco Herald-Tribune. Baylor’s president Kenneth Starr already commissioned an internal report by a Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller, which looks into how the school handled the shocking allegations that it was aware of football transfer Sam Ukwuachu’s violent past. Officials, however, said they want the law firm to “have a chance to review Counseller’s report before the school determines whether it will be made public.” According to the university, the law firm is “a national practice focused on the institutional response to all aspects of sexual misconduct matters.”
Pecked — If some little chickens think the sky is falling, they have a reason for it. “Last year’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act has been overturned by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas,” reports the Midland Reporter-Telegram. On Tuesday, “the judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not properly apply its Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions to conservation already underway to assist the lesser prairie chicken. He also ruled that the plaintiffs — the [Permian Basin Petroleum Association] and Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties in New Mexico — had not demonstrated that the Fish and Wildlife Service had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in making the decision.” As the Associated Press puts it, the ruling is “a victory for oil and gas companies that argued conservation efforts are working.” The PBPA had “said the listing would impede operations and cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and gas development in one of the country’s most prolific basins, the Permian Basin in the Texas Panhandle.” Proponents of protecting the Prairie Chickens said the decision “was a blow to the species, which has lost most of its habitat to oil and gas operations, wind farms and power lines.”
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