Around the State

Around the State | 6/27/2016, 11:53 a.m.
A prosecutor will not refile charges against a North Texas police officer fired after the fatal shooting of an unarmed ...


(AP) – A prosecutor will not refile charges against a North Texas police officer fired after the fatal shooting of an unarmed burglary suspect at a car dealership.

Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson told the family of 19-year-old Christian Taylor, a Black college football player, that he was acting erratically when fatally shot last summer by Arlington police Officer Brad Miller. The now-former police trainee is White.

A grand jury last week declined to indict Miller. Part of the incident was captured on business security video. Investigators say Taylor roamed the showroom, damaged some vehicles on the lot and refused police commands to stop.

An attorney for Taylor’s relatives had asked Wilson to refile charges. The prosecutor declined in a letter Monday.

Miller was later fired for displaying poor judgment.


(AP) – A new $39 million jail medical facility is the first Dallas County government building in the county’s 170-year history to carry the name of an African American and Latino.

The Jesse Everett Gill and Dr. Onesimo Hernandez Medical Facility, named for two Dallas minority leaders, is being dedicated Monday.

The 139,000-square-foot medical facility includes medical clinic space, a pharmacy and medical staff offices to serve Dallas County Jail patients.

Gill was the first African American to be a Dallas County deputy sheriff, joining the department in 1954. He left in 1962 to become a teacher and taught in Dallas public schools until his retirement in 2000. He was 85 when he died in January.

Hernandez, who died in 1994 at age 69, was the first Latino to attend Southwestern Medical School.


(AP) – Ebony and Jet magazines, which have chronicled African American life for the past 71 years, have been sold to an Austin-based private equity firm.

Johnson Publishing Co. announced Tuesday that Ebony and digital-only Jet were sold to Clear View Group but didn’t disclose the sale price.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Johnson Publishing will retain its Fashion Fair Cosmetics business and its Ebony photo archive, which is for sale.

Ebony magazine was founded by John Johnson in 1945. It’s been hit by declining circulation and revenues in recent years.

Johnson’s daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, will serve as chairman emeritus on the board of the new company, Ebony Media Operations. CVG chairman Michael Gibson said the company will retain its Chicago headquarters and much of its staff.


(AP) – Some Texas legislators would like to see more allowable uses for medical marijuana by expanding a law approved in 2015.

The law lets patients with a rare form of epilepsy be legally treated with cannabidiol, or CBD, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has not yet completed the process to permit CBD businesses to get up and running. The first permits are scheduled to be granted in June 2017, the newspaper reported.

State Sen. José Menéndez of San Antonio failed to get a broad medical marijuana bill approved in 2015. He said he’d support any expansion of the current law for therapeutic uses.

Cannabidiol is one of dozens of compounds found in the marijuana plant, but unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, cannabidiol does not produce a high or sense of euphoria.

State Rep. Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs expressed hope that legislators who convene in January will continue expanding cannabis-related medical treatments.

“We need to expand compassionate uses,” Isaac said. “`We need to give people more freedom.”

Gov. Greg Abbott, when he signed the current law, reaffirmed keeping marijuana illegal in Texas but allowing CBD use in narrow circumstances.

“SB 339 does not open the door to marijuana in Texas. The very low level of THC in CBD oil does not, even if taken in large doses, give the user a high and has no street value,” Abbott said at the time. “There is no recreational use for CBD oil. It will, however, provide healing and hope for children who are afflicted by unrelenting seizures caused by epilepsy.”

Menéndez predicted that any bills calling for expanded use of CBD will have a much better chance of passing than wide-reaching medical marijuana legislation, especially in a conservative Legislature like Texas.

“But that doesn’t mean I won’t try,” Menéndez said.