On Thursday, a federal judge ruled against Dallas County’s strict reliance on cash bail, saying it discriminates against poor people and violates their equal protection rights.
If police arrest and charge you with a misdemeanor in Dallas County, and you can’t afford bail, you’ll likely be stuck in jail somewhere between four to 10 days, until your first court hearing. If you’re charged with a felony … Read More
The brain-twisting shooting of a man inside his own apartment is yet another example of both police escalation and the flexibility often afforded cops who commit egregious acts.
UPDATE: Dallas Police Department Chief U. Renée Hall fired officer Amber Guyger on September 24, about two weeks after she was charged with manslaughter for the killing of Botham Jean. Family and friends of Jordan Edwards cried tears of both joy … Read More
A federal lawsuit accuses Port Freeport of threatening residents of a minority community with eminent domain and coercing them into selling their property.
In 1930, Freeport’s white leaders established a “negro district” perched on the edge of what would eventually become one of the nation’s largest deepwater ports, near where the Brazos River meets the Gulf. Two years later, after white residents complained … Read More
Footage obtained by the Observer shows cursory bail hearings that routinely last fewer than 15 seconds.
Abolishing cash bail is a key part of the movement to end mass incarceration because money still largely determines who remains in county jail, which is itself the front door to a giant carceral state (at last count, there were … Read More
The case illustrates the high bar that prosecutors must clear for a conviction, particularly in Texas, where prosecutions for on-duty killings are virtually unheard of.
Police are justified in maiming, shooting or killing you if another “reasonable” officer would’ve done the same thing. That’s the malleable, snake-eating-its-tail legal standard that the U.S. Supreme Court established for judging police violence three decades ago. Critics still blame … Read More
Rapper Bun B on Port Arthur, resilience and the meaning of trill.
The Bayou City loves Bernard “Bun B” Freeman so much that he’s been given the title “Houston’s unofficial mayor.” But the Grammy-nominated renaissance man of Texas rap actually hails from Port Arthur, a struggling refinery town 90 miles east. The … Read More
by Michael Barajas and Sophie Novack July 30, 2018 On a Friday morning in mid-May, Beatrice Sanders stepped outside her FEMA trailer to find a port-a-potty parked in her driveway. At first, it seemed like a wonderful surprise, and perfectly … Read More
In his zealous rejection of “red flag” laws, Dan Patrick reminds us of the long odds anything resembling gun reform faces in the Texas Legislature.
Texas remains hostile territory for even modest forms of gun reform, after a year punctuated by mass shootings. In November, Governor Greg Abbott and other top GOP leaders bumbled through the state’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history by preaching … Read More
Pretrial detainees — legally innocent people who have been charged but not convicted of a crime — now occupy more beds in jails than any other group.
Three years after a Texas state trooper ripped her out of her car and slammed her to the ground over a traffic violation, Sandra Bland’s name still evokes images of police brutality. Her name also remains on the lips of … Read More