(AP) – Longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price will not be retried on tax-fraud charges that jurors were deadlocked on, a federal prosecutor has said.
U.S. Attorney John Parker announced his decision Friday. A jury acquitted Price of bribery and mail fraud charges, April 28. Jurors failed to reach a verdict on four tax-related counts.
Parker also said bribery-related charges against a Price political consultant, Kathy Nealy, will be dropped.
(AP) – A Black Texas congressman said Saturday that he’s been threatened with lynching by callers infuriated over him seeking impeachment of President Donald Trump.
U.S. Rep. Al Green held a town hall meeting and played recordings of several threatening voicemails left at his offices in Houston and Washington, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The seven-term Democrat said he won’t be deterred.
“We are not going to be intimidated,” Green said Saturday. “We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”
One male caller used a racial insult and threatened Green with “hanging from a tree” if he pursues impeachment. Another man left a message saying Green would be the one impeached after “a short trial” and then he would be hanged, according to the recording.
Green took to the House floor last Wednesday to say he believes Trump committed obstruction of justice and no one’s above the law.
Trump, a Republican, has dismissed criticism of his firing of FBI Director James Comey amid the agency’s investigation of possible links between Russia and Trump campaign associates.
Green said he wanted his constituents to be aware of the hateful calls he’s since received.
“When a person talks about lynching you, we think that’s a pretty serious threat,” said Green, a former president of the Houston branch of the NAACP, according to his congressional website.
(AP) – A video leaked to a television station shows a White Dallas-area police sergeant using a stun gun on a handcuffed Black suspect, returning the same police department to the spotlight just weeks after a White officer was charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager.
The video anonymously mailed to KDFW-TV shows a 2016 incident in which the unnamed Balch Springs sergeant shocks the handcuffed suspect and tells him not to pull away.
Department officials said in a statement Tuesday that outside agencies had reviewed the video, and a decision was made not to file criminal charges.
The leaked footage comes as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates possible civil rights issues related to the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards by a Balch Springs officer.
(AP) – Two police commanders in Texas have been demoted following an internal investigation into leaked body camera footage after a controversial arrest of a Black woman and her daughters by a Fort Worth police officer.
Lawyers for the two assistant chiefs tell KXAS-TV that the men met with Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald on Friday afternoon and were demoted to captains.
During a press conference, Fitzgerald said that he thought long and hard about the demotions and regretted having to do it but felt it was the right thing to do. Both demoted officers have denied the allegations.
The Fort Worth Police Department began an internal investigation after officer William Martin’s body-camera video from the December arrest of Jacqueline Craig was leaked along with Martin’s previous disciplinary records.
Craig said a neighbor had assaulted her son for littering. Cellphone video shows Martin escalating the situation before forcing Craig to the ground and arresting her and then her two daughters.
Charges against the women were later dropped.
(AP) – A Texas proposal named for a Black woman found dead in jail following a confrontational traffic stop is headed to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.
The Texas Legislature gave final approval Saturday to the Sandra Bland Act. But Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, has said it’s “gut-wrenching” that lawmakers stripped police reforms from the bill to ensure passage.
It originally called for broad police accountability and anti-racial profiling measures. As approved, though, it focuses on mental health treatment for people jailed.
Cooper said those compromises rendered Bland invisible.
Bland’s 2015 death was a flashpoint for the Black Lives Matter movement. She was stopped for not signaling a lane change before being pulled from her car.
Abbott can sign or veto the bill. It automatically becomes law if he takes no action.
(AP) – The Texas House has advanced a contentious property tax bill, one of two proposals that the head of the Texas Senate threatened could spark a special legislative session if they fail to pass.
The proposal seeks to limit local governments’ ability to raise property taxes, which local officials oppose.
A bill containing deeper property tax limits passed the Senate but stalled in the House. A scaled-back House version was attached to another bill Saturday, however, and passed 135-0, despite tea party legislators agitating for more.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants lawmakers to work past the May 29 end of the legislative session if property tax limits and regulations of transgender peoples’ use of public restrooms don’t become law – though only Gov. Greg Abbott can actually call a special session.
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