This is a Faux News devotee. He truly believes the “Black Panthers” exist anymore…
This is a Faux News devotee. He truly believes the “Black Panthers” exist anymore…
The man currently accused of killing the Deputy in Harris County, Texas, not only had a rap sheet, but in 2012 was considered non competent to stand trial due to mental illness and sent to a mental health center of 6 months before being released. No motive has been established in the case yet – despite the blubbering of the County Sheriff on National TV. Texas has some of the loosest gun laws in the world, so it is no surprise a guy with felony convictions and being incarcerated in a mental health institution could easily get a gun.
A man charged with murder in the ambush of a suburban Houston sheriff’s deputy had a history of mental illness and was once declared mentally incompetent, according to authorities and his former attorney.
Shannon J. Miles, 30, was being held without bond after an initial court hearing Monday. Prosecutors accuse him of opening fire from behind on Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth on Friday night in what the sheriff called a “cold-blooded assassination.”
Goforth was shot 15 times, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in court.
Anderson would not comment on a motive, saying investigators were still trying to figure that out. When asked if it might be connected to heightened tensions around the country between law enforcement and civilians, Anderson said, “I have no idea whether it does or not.” This weekend, Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” that authorities believe the 47-year-old deputy was targeted because he was in uniform and there is no evidence Goforth knew Miles.
Anthony Osso, one of Miles’ two court-appointed attorneys, told The Associated Press that his client intends to plead not guilty.
Miles’ criminal history dates back to 2005 and includes an arrest in Austin in 2012 that led to Miles being sent to a state mental hospital for several months.
In 2012, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office charged Miles with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he got into a fight at a homeless shelter over a remote control, prosecutor Joe Frederick said. Miles was found to be mentally incompetent in October 2012 and he was sent to North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, Texas.
“From this case, you could never tell what would happen” in the future, Frederick said, adding prosecutors treated the case as a “very serious offense” and had offered Miles a plea agreement of seven years in prison. Miles was declared mentally competent in February 2013, but the charge was dropped after the victim could not be located, Frederick said.
Jon Evans, Miles’ attorney in the Austin case, said medical privacy laws prevent him from offering any details about Miles’ mental illness history. But he was told by Miles’ mother that her son had a lifelong history of mental illness.
At the time of the case in 2012, Miles “suffered from severe mental illness,” Evans said.
Miles also has three convictions for resisting or evading arrest, as well as convictions for disorderly conduct with a firearm, criminal mischief and giving false information to police. Records show he was sentenced to several short stints in jail, anywhere from six to 10 days.
Or “Not wanting to jump to conclusions”, this Sheriff and Prosecutor certainly lay out a lot of “conclusions” not yet borne out by evidence. The assertion that this was about “anti-cop rhetoric” and BlackLivesMatter being the most egregious. As the shooter has not been identified, much less apprehended, we have no idea what motivated him. The fact the Police Department is having a hard time getting witnesses to step up would seem to indicate a disconnect between the Police and the community.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman described the killing of a deputy sheriff at a gas station as a “cold-blooded assassination” and angrily condemned the “very dangerous national rhetoric” about police officers that he said was out of control.
Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was fatally shot late Friday while filling his patrol car in northwest Harris County.
The suspect, whose image was caught on surveillance video, approached Goforth from behind and shot him several times in the back. He continued to fire even after the officer had fallen to the ground.
The suspect is shown in photos as a dark-skinned male wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts and apparently driving a red or maroon-colored Ford pickup.
Rickman said an intense manhunt was underway and that officers were speaking to several people in connection with the shooting, but that no arrest had been made yet.
Hickman said the killing was unprovoked and that Goforth was apparently singled out only because he was wearing the uniform of a law enforcement officer. The sheriff made it clear he felt the shooting was tied to a national backlash over several recent killings of unarmed black people by police officers.
“When rhetoric ramps up to the point where cold-blooded assassination has happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” he said. “We heard ‘black lives matter.’ All lives matter. Cops’ lives matter too, so why don’t we drop the qualifier and say all lives matter and take that to the bank.”
“Black Lives Matter” is the phrase of a national activist group aimed at addressing the shootings by police officers.
His remarks echoed comments in the same new conference by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, who said the criticism of police had gotten out of hand.
“It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement,” she told reporters at the news conference. “There are a few bad apples in every profession, that does not mean there should be open warfare on law enforcement.”
Earlier, sheriff’s office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said officials were speaking with a person of interest in connection with the shooting and had obtained a search warrant for the person’s home.
Perhaps the Sheriff’s rhetoric might be based on the publicity involving his department and this DWB stop…
And this one…
Which apparently wasn’t the first Harris County Law Enforcement Officer to be accused, indicted, or convicted of rape. Just a few weeks ago, Harris County Deputies strip searched a woman by the side of the road.
This country appears to have some serious and deep problems…The current Chief being one. It doesn’t seem impossible that the “hundreds of women” raped or coerced into sex by Law Enforcement in the county might just be the cause of the current problems.
In case you forgot –
A troubling new report on youth and policing in McKinney, Texas — the Dallas suburb where an officer was filmed shoving an African-American girl to the ground at a June pool party — found that police officers in the McKinney Independent School District ticket and arrest black students at much higher rates than other students.
The report, released Wednesday, reveals a startling racial disparity in the way local authorities handle school discipline. Though black students only comprise 13 percent of the district’s student population, they received about 36 percent of all tickets issued by school resource officers — who are chosen from the ranks of the McKinney police force — and accounted for 39 percent of all arrests.
The nonprofit group Texas Appleseed compiled the school discipline data by using open records requests, tracking disciplinary actions taken between January 2012 and June 2015.
African-Americans were also suspended at a much higher rate than white students during the 2013-2014 school year. Black students received 30 percent of in-school suspensions and 38 percent of out-of-school suspensions in the district that year, the report revealed. Research has long shown that being suspended from school, even just once, greatly increases the chances that a student will drop out of high school.
“McKinney’s extreme and inequitable school discipline measures mirror the larger problems sweeping communities throughout the nation where inadequate training and racial bias have led to inappropriate and even deadly responses by police in response to minor incidents,” wrote Deborah Fowler, executive director of Texas Appleseed, in a statement on Wednesday after the report’s release…
Sandra Bland died in police custody this past Monday. Visiting Texas from Chicago to interview for a college job at her alma mater of Prairie View A&M, she was pulled over for a routine traffic violation (failure to use her turn signal). Everything from that point forward screams racism and foul play, including her death in the Waller County jail Monday.
The first red flag is that Bland was officially arrested on Friday for assaulting a police officer. What we see from a bystander video is her telling the officers she is in pain and cannot hear after her head was slammed on the ground by the male arresting officer. The video is below.
We have now learned that Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith, who made the first public comments about Bland’s in-custody death, was suspended for documented cases of racismwhen he was chief of police in Hempstead, Texas, in 2007. After serving his suspension, more complaints of racism came in, and Smith was actually fired as chief of police in Hempstead:
Council members are reviewing video of four arrests and detentions over the past month. The officers and police chief, who are the targets of the complaints, are white. Some residents are calling for a third of the city’s 15 person police force to be suspended, disciplined, or fired.
Allegations of racism have led to the Hempstead police chief being suspended and ordered to take anger management classes.
The Hempstead city council has been reviewing the case since last week and finally came to a decision at around 2am Tuesday. A number of residents have come forward with claims of racism by at least four white police officers.
The council reviewed the complaints, along with videotapes before making their decision to punish Chief Glen Smith. Some say it wasn’t enough. The chief says he respects the decision.
“My action during the arrest did not meet professionalism as it should with language and I’m not above policy and procedure, no more than any officer of this city,” said Chief Smith.
It would seem that once a law enforcement officer—a chief of police no less—is suspended and then fired for racism and abuse, his ability to serve in law enforcement would cease.
A trooper who pulled over and later arrested a woman found dead in her jail cell was put on desk duty Friday for violating procedures, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
Sandra Bland, 28, was arrested July 10, and after spending the weekend in the Waller County jail, she was found hanged in her cell Monday. Harris County’s medical examiner said the death was a suicide, but Bland’s family disputes the finding.
The FBI has joined the Texas Rangers in investigating the circumstances surrounding her death. The state Public Safety Department and Waller County district attorney have requested that the FBI conduct a forensic analysis on video footage from the incident.
In arresting Bland, the trooper “violated the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy,” state public safety officials said Friday without specifying what procedures the trooper, whose name has not been released, had violated…
…But Elton Mathis, Waller County district attorney, said Friday that no cameras were in the jail cell where she was found dead. Cameras monitoring the hall outside her cell show no one entered or left it between the time she last spoke with deputies through an intercom system and when her body was discovered
“It appears she had used a trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the ceiling, which was used to give inmates privacy,” said Mathis, who also said Bland seems to have been the only female incarcerated in the jail at the time.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards cited Waller County jail Thursday for not properly monitoring inmates but wouldn’t say whether its citation is related to Bland’s death. All inmates must be observed once every 60 minutes, and any inmate deemed suicidal must be observed in person every 30 minutes, Executive Director Brandon Wood said.
Smith said Thursday that jailers used an intercom to check on Bland less than an hour before she was found dead.
Sandra was arrested after being stopped for not properly signalling a lane change – a standard DWB harassment scenario. In the arrest video, she is heard telling the Officers that they had slammed her head to the ground so hard, she couldn’t hear, which would seem to be good reason to have her checked out by a Medical Professional, prior to incarcerating her. In another video being circulated she can be heard telling the Officer to “keep his %**& hands off of her”. Which raises the question of why, for a minor traffic stop, which should have at worst, wound up in a ticket…Was the cop manhandling her?
As usual in every one of these cases, the racist right has gone into full defense mode of the cops, the first step of which is to “dirty up” the image of the victim. You know, the usual – ‘He was a thug”, “He had a rap sheet a mile long”, “He was violent”. Or in this case because the victim is a black woman – “She was mentally ill”, “She resisted arrest”…
Now, I saw the inside of a few jail cells back in the ’60’s demonstrating for Civil Rights or against the Vietnam War…
And for the life of me I don’t remember the sometimes nice, sometime not deputies conveniently leaving a rope over in the corner with a convenient metal bar across the ceiling, or a plastic bag with which the prisoner could suffocate themselves…
Mayor of San Antonio, Ivy Taylor
Proving that there is progress…Even in (currently) Republican dominated Texas…
Ivy Taylor has been elected mayor of San Antonio, becoming the first African-American elected to the post.
Taylor, who was appointed interim mayor last summer, defeated former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the runoff election Saturday. Taylor captured the election with nearly 52 percent of the vote.
Taylor said in her victory speech, “The work starts on Monday at City Hall. We come together now as a city.”
Taylor last July was on the San Antonio City Council when fellow members voted to appoint her as mayor to replace Julian Castro. He became secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
No surprise here. The most political court in US history has come up with the usual vote to support Jim Crow Voter ID in Texas to assure a Republican victory by disenfranchising more than 600,000 minority voters.
Texas election officials can go ahead and enforce a controversial voter identification law opposed by the Obama administration and civil rights groups, the U.S. Supreme Court said early Saturday.
The decision comes just two days before early voting begins in the state.
A civil rights leader reacted harshly to the ruling, calling it an “affront to our democracy.”
“Today’s decision means hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in Texas will be unable to participate in November’s election because Texas has erected an obstacle course designed to discourage voting,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
While the court offered no reasoning for its decision, it backs up a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday saying that voting procedures shouldn’t be upended so close to the election.
That decision came in response to a federal judge’s ruling after a nine-day trial that a Texas law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls is unconstitutional.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly instructed courts to consider the importance of preserving the status quo on the eve of an election,” the 5th Circuit court said.
Proponents say the law will help prevent voter fraud. Critics say such practices make it harder for poor, minority and disabled people to vote.
Minority and civil rights groups who banded together to oppose the law said it was among the most restrictive in the nation.
Some 600,000 people in Texas lack state-issued IDs, according to the U.S. Justice Department — which rejected Texas’ law as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Nationwide, the NAACP says 25% of African-Americans and 16% of Latinos of voting age lack a current government-issued photo ID.
Saturday’s decision doesn’t speak to the constitutionality of the law — only whether it can be enforced in this fall’s election. Continued legal challenges are a certainty, Ifill said.
While the court’s majority didn’t offer any explanation for the ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a nearly seven-page dissent, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Ginsburg said the costs associated with the law — obtaining identity cards and the documents needed to get them — aren’t as insignificant as backers claim, and argued they harken back to the use of the poll tax in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a method of preventing blacks from voting.
“The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,” Ginsburg wrote.
The first day of early voting in Texas is Monday. Voters will choose a new governor to replace outgoing Gov. Rick Perry, new lieutenant governor, and new attorney general in addition to voting on one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats and several House districts.