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Texas Cop Who Killed Jordan Edwards Charged With Murder

Dallas County district attorney on Roy Oliver: He is “very, very likely a danger to the community.”

Kenrya Rankin

On April 29, then-officer Roy Oliver shot and killed unarmed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Yesterday (July 17), Oliver (37), who was formerly employed by the Balch Springs (Texas) Police Department, was indicted for that fatal shooting.

The Dallas Morning News reports that a Dallas County grand jury indicted Oliver, who is White, on a murder charge as well as four counts of aggravated assault by a public servant for shooting in a car that held five teenagers.

As Colorlines previously reported following the shooting:

On April 29, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards attended a house party in Balch Springs, a Dallas, Texas, suburb. After hearing gunshots, he and four other teens headed to their car. Moments later, a still unnamed officer with the Balch Springs Police Department shot through a passenger side window and shot the unarmed Black teen in the head. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The police department issued a statement via Facebook the next day, saying that officers were responding to a 911 call about drunk underage kids. The statement says the cops heard gunshots, then engaged in an “unknown altercation with a vehicle backing down the street towards the officers in an aggressive manner.”


Missouri City: Officer shoots, kills dog: Homeowner seeking body cam video


MISSOURI CITY, Texas– Days after her dog Chapo was shot and killed by a Missouri City Police officer, Lizzethe Pedregon is searching for answers.

“I wouldn’t want other children to feel what my kids feel. I think that’s what has hurt the most is to have to tell the kids, ‘hey Chapo’s not coming back,’” Pedregon said.

Pedregon said the American Bully Pitbull did nothing to provoke the officer.

“We didn’t hear him bark. We didn’t hear him growl. We didn’t hear anything for us to turn around and see that something was going on,” Pedregon said.

When officers responded to a noise complaint at the Pedregon’s home Friday night, the family said they didn’t hear a knock or see any police lights while they were sitting in the backyard barbecuing. Instead, all they heard was a single gunshot and turned around to see that Chapo had been shot in the head.



Contact: Lonnie Dietz
(512) 463-0108

AUSTIN, TX – Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, State Senator Van Taylor released the below statement on the Senate’s unanimous passage of S.B. 20 and S.B. 60, the Sunset safety net bills:

“During the regular session the Senate had a perfect seventeen for seventeen record in passing to the Governor every sunset bill that either originated as a Senate bill or came to the Senate from the House,” stated Taylor. “I am again very proud of my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing the importance of the Sunset process and coming together to do the people’s work. Following the bold and responsive leadership of Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, it is my hope that the Legislature will now expeditiously address the conservative reforms supported by a majority of Texans and members of both Chambers.”

The Senate convened at midnight last night in order to pass these bills at the earliest possible moment. The Sunset bills were passed a little after 12:30am and Governor Abbott issued a proclamation releasing the rest of the special session agenda around 12:45am. These items include: property tax reform, spending caps on state and local governments, school choice for special needs students, pro-life initiatives, privacy, cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud, and more. A full list can be found here. Senate committee hearings on these bills are expected Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission and is also member of the Natural Resources and Economic Development, Education, Health and Human Services, Intergovernmental Relations, and Nominations Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.


Dems desperate for candidates to turn Texas blue


SAN ANTONIO — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Friday he would run for reelection, pledging four more years of a conservative agenda aimed squarely at limiting abortion rights, expanding gun rights and keeping liberal boogeymen like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and George Soros out of the Lone Star State.

Abbott begins his campaign with more than $41 million in the bank — and without a serious Democratic opponent anywhere on the horizon. In fact, most observers say Abbott is more preoccupied with the prospects of a conservative challenge than with any hint of a general election threat.

For years, Democrats have pledged to make Texas competitive. They have backed a bevy of good candidates — former Houston Mayor Bill White, state Sen. Wendy Davis, former Rep. Chris Bell, businessman Tony Sanchez — and Republicans have crushed them all.

“I believed we could be competitive in 2014, and obviously had a big old cold bucket of water thrown on my head,” Davis said.


Strange obsessions. It must kind of stink to be a Texas Democrat.

Texas Democrats have a rich fantasy life. “Dennis Quaid or Eva Longoria for Senate?” asked the Texas Standard, a liberal radio program based in Austin. “Tommy Lee Jones for governor?” Texas Democrats, the gentleman on the radio declared, are “looking for star power.”

Quaid, Longoria, and Jones were the names that figured prominently in the radio promotional segment. The actual conversation with Democratic analyst Harold Cook was somewhat lighter on that coveted “star power,” offering up such stale and lame figures as Julian and Joaquín Castro and Annise Parker, the heavy-handed former mayor of Houston who once attempted to subpoena the sermons of local clergymen she suspected of opposing her transgender-rights culture-war program. As Cook tells it, Democrats desperate for an inspiring leader are asking themselves: “Where’s Wendy?”

Wendy Davis, he meant.

It must kind of stink to be a Texas Democrat.

For those of you who missed the Wendy Davis saga, a summary: Davis, an attractive and young-ish state senator from Fort Worth with a colorful personal story (“Her father quit his job to pursue work in community theater, leading his child support payments to dry up,” as the world’s most delightfully dry Wikipedia writer put it) and a couple of abortions on her résumé, staged a highly publicized filibuster of a bill that would have tightened some abortion regulations in Texas. She did this while wearing a pair of red sneakers, which immediately became a Democratic fetish item. Democrats are funny about that sort of thing: See Melissa Harris-Perry’s tampon earrings, etc.


DALLAS: Rates Increase For NTTA Toll Roads

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Higher toll rates have kicked in this long holiday weekend for roads operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority.

The toll increase affects roads like the President George W. Bush Turnpike, Dallas North Tollway and the Chisholm Trail Parkway.


Texas Supreme Court: states not required to provide publicly funded benefits to same-sex couples

by Lars Peterson

The Supreme Court of Texas [official website] held [opinion, PDF] on Friday that the Houston’s benefits policy need not extend to same-sex couples. In so holding, the Court concluded that: “The [US] Supreme Court held in Obergefell that the Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages to the same extent that they license and recognize opposite-sex marriages, but it did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons.” The trial court had issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the mayor and the city of Houston from “furnishing benefits to persons who were married in other jurisdictions to City employees of the same sex.” The Court of Appeals reversed the injunction and remanded the case back to the trial court holding that the lower court must conduct its proceedings consistent with the federal Fifth Circuit decision in DeLeon v. Perry. The Texas Supreme Court disagreed, but vacated the trial court injunction holding that:


Trump fuels Texas and California feud. The two biggest states are trading punches again.


LOS ANGELES — California and Texas are at war, and Donald Trump is one of the reasons why.

Trading broadsides on everything from tax and climate policy to a California ban on state-sponsored travel to the Lone Star State, the two poles of American politics have in recent days revived a feud that lay dormant since Texas’ former California-baiting governor, Rick Perry, left the statehouse in 2015.

Its revival is a product of California’s prominent proselytizing as a counterpoint to the Trump agenda — and of a Republican presidency that has forced Texas conservatives to look beyond the White House for a foil.

“Texas is an easy punching bag for liberals. California is an easy punching bag for conservatives,” said Kevin Shuvalov, a Houston-based strategist who served as George W. Bush’s regional political director in 2000.

Placing a telephone call across state lines this week, he sighed, “How are things inside California’s Berlin Wall?”

The renewed animus between the nation’s first- and second-most populous states picked up last week in Texas, when state Attorney General Ken Paxton lit into California’s insurance commissioner for requiring insurance companies to disclose investments in fossil fuels.

Two days later, Paxton’s counterpart in California added Texas and three other states to its list of places to which California prohibits state-sponsored travel. Lawmakers in Austin floated the possibility of retaliating with a ban of their own, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott met California with a sneer.


Mexico, officials respond to SB 4. Government files affidavit to stop implementation


This past week, the Mexican government filed an affidavit to stop Texas Senate Bill 4 from being implemented in September.

Signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott via Facebook Live, Senate Bill 4 states sanctuary cities are not allowed in the state and that local police chiefs and sheriffs are to help enforce immigration law. Those who refuse to cooperate can face removal from office and even jail time.

According to The Associated Press, Carlos Sada Solana, Mexico’s assistant secretary of foreign relations, said the affidavit will express Mexico’s concerns. Sada Solana said, “In our community there is concern, there is discomfort and there is fear of this situation.”

SB 4 has created an uproar among Texans and legislators who were against the bill becoming law.

Representative Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, has been fighting this bill since 2011. Oliveira said he has known about the Mexican government filing an affidavit for months.

“For the last couple of months they wanted to know what I thought was going to happen, and we discussed the litigation to some extent,” Oliveira said. “They said they were going to go back to their legal counsel and discuss what they were going to play.”

Oliveira was approached by two Mexican counsel members and was pleased with the Mexican government’s action to try and stop SB 4 from being implemented.


Abbott remains vague in his support of ‘bathroom bill’

, USA Today Network

AUSTIN – During much of the regular session of the Texas Legislature, Gov. Greg Abbott seldom went out of his way to call attention to the House-Senate ongoing impasse over the so-called bathroom bill, and some of his critics faulted him for not getting out front on a host of other measures either.

But as the countdown clock starts ticking toward the July 18 start of the special election, Abbott has made a point of getting out front on the myriad issues he wants lawmakers to tackle during what should have been their summer vacation.

But on the bathroom bill, which came to symbolize the rift between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – the Senate’s top dog – and House Speaker Joe Straus, Abbott is out front largely in the sense that he wants the matter resolved.

The measure was Patrick’s baby and would have limited the options of transgender people when it came to which restroom they’d use in multi-stall facilities buildings like city halls, public libraries, public schools and such.

Straus never was comfortable with the legislation, siding with business interests who thought such a law would make Texas an unfriendly place for tourism, corporate relocation, high-profile sporting events and the like. In fact, Straus early on implored Abbott to tip his hand so that it might help him decide whether to subject House members to what could be a difficult vote and what would likely cause one more knock-down, nose-bloodying fight on the chamber floor.

Abbott resisted taking the bait for much of the session, until finally saying he saw the value in a state “privacy” law, although he never flat-out endorsed the far-reaching bill that Patrick shepherded through the Senate.