Around the State
Special to The Dallas Examiner | 6/27/2017, 11:06 a.m.
Special to The Dallas Examiner
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus will host a town hall meeting June 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss the 85th Texas Legislative Session and upcoming special session at the University of North Texas-Dallas in Founder’s Hall, located at 7300 University Hills Blvd.
For questions, email texaslegislativeblackcaucus @gmail.com.
Gov. Greg Abbott approved Rep. Eric Johnson’s House Bill 245, which will create a civil penalty for law enforcement agencies that fail to report officer-involved shootings and peace officer injuries and deaths to the Office of the Attorney General.
“I applaud Governor Abbott for signing House Bill 245 into law,” Johnson said. “As the former chief law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I know he appreciates the importance of transparency and accountability in policing.”
The law will go into effect on Sept. 1.
(AP) – Testimony has ended in the appeal of a White Texas police officer suspended for using excessive force against a Black mother and her daughters in a video-recorded arrest.
The Fort Worth Civil Service Commission concluded Friday its four-day hearing of Officer William Martin’s appeal of his 10-day suspension.
Jacqueline Craig called police Dec. 21 to report that a neighbor choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering in his yard. In the video, Martin wrestles Craig and a daughter to the ground, pressing a stun gun into Craig’s back before pointing it at her daughter and appears to kick her into his patrol car.
After up to four weeks of exchanging written briefs, a decision will then come within 30 days.
(AP) – Charges have been dropped against Miss Black Texas 2016 a day after an East Texas police chief was cleared of wrongdoing in her arrest.
Prosecutors cited lack of evidence Tuesday in the May 20 arrest of Carmen Ponder for evading arrest.
The 23-year-old college student initially said Commerce police Chief Kerry Crews made racial and sexist comments after a traffic-related dispute.
Authorities later determined that the store parking-lot confrontation involved another White man who was teaching his daughter to drive, and made the statements after Ponder passed his vehicle.
Commerce officials Monday said a review found no wrongdoing by Crews, who was off-duty, in plainclothes and in the store when he learned of the dispute. Ponder was arrested after allegedly trying to walk away as the chief detained her demanding she apologize to him.
(AP) – A report from a voting rights advocacy group shows that hundreds of Texas voters were delayed or nearly turned away during the 2016 presidential election because of confusion over the state’s voter ID laws.
More than 4,000 reports of voter issues, primarily in Harris and Dallas counties, were reviewed by the Texas Civil Rights Project’s Election Protection Coalition. Most related to polling place problems, voter registration status or voter ID requirements, The Houston Chronicle reported.
More than 300 voters reported being confused about voter identification requirements and getting conflicting information from poll workers. And more than half the reports detailed problems with polling locations, such as polling sites being changed or eliminated. Most of those reports came from predominantly Black areas of Houston.
Hundreds of voters weren’t on voter rolls because of small discrepancies in their names or addresses. The report also found many voters waited more than an hour, a delay possibly caused by a lack of poll workers and inoperable machines.
The group’s report comes nearly a year after a federal appeals court first ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter ID law discriminated against minorities and the poor.
The law would have required all voters to present a government-issued ID. Supporters of the law argued that it was necessary to prevent voter fraud, but opponents argued that more than 600,000 Texas voters would’ve lacked proper ID under the law’s requirements.