Texas shootings in context

I’ve been asked to share data on Texas police shootings at the upcoming MEASURE Austin conference and with advocacy organizations in Austin. Here is the report I’m sharing: Shootings by and of Texas law enforcement officers, 2015 – present Two years ago, Texas lawmakers passed a law that made the state one of the most transparent in the country in tracking officer-involved shootings. Each time an […]

Recent history of Texas police shootings

The slaying of a Texas Tech University police officer marks the fourth shooting death of a Texas peace officer this year, according to reports filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office. “Words can’t express how saddened I am by the tragic loss of one of our Texas Tech University police officers tonight,” read a statement released by Robert Duncan, chancellor of the Texas Tech System, […]

How Texas DAs handle officer-involved shootings

In Texas, it’s up to a county’s district attorney to decide how to handle officer-involved shootings. Populous counties typically have a specialized unit that reviews law enforcement’s work and decide the next course of action. Below is a look at how the cases are probed in four counties across the Lone Star State, based on interviews with the offices of Travis County District Attorney Margaret […]

Police shootings accountability bill signed into law

The State of Texas will soon be able to fine law enforcement agencies that don’t properly report officer-involved shootings. On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbot gave final approval to changes to the 2015 law that requires agencies to fill out a one-page form and file it with the Attorney General’s office within 30 days of a shooting. The bill, by Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas), was one of […]

When running from police becomes deadly

  BECKVILLE, Texas –Calin Devonte Roquemore, a 23-year-old African American from East Texas, feared police and did not stop when a white trooper from the Texas Department of Public Safety attempted to pull him over for speeding on Texas 149, a two-lane country road, two hours after sunset on Feb. 13, 2016. Instead Roquemore sped through a maze of streets to a trailer park, jumped out […]

House advances bill to enforce shooting report requirement

UPDATE: At 10:50 a.m. on Friday, HB 245 was finally passed out of the Texas House on a 112-21 vote. There was no discussion. The legislation now faces approval by the Senate, and then Gov. Greg Abbott, in order to become law. ORIGINAL POST: Hours after it initially lost in the Texas House by one vote, lawmakers reconsidered and preliminarily passed legislation that would enforce the state’s […]

Texas Legislature addresses missing reports

On a long day filled with emotional debate over bathroom access and property taxes, there wasn’t much fuss over a Texas lawmaker’s bill that would hold law enforcement agencies accountable for not properly reporting officer-involved shootings to the state. Under the pink dome early Tuesday morning, Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, presented HB 245, which would add teeth to the reporting requirement. He told the House Homeland Security and […]

Missing reports filed, attracting AP’s attention

First in early February came the story about a dozen fatal officer-involved shootings that weren’t being reported properly to the state. After another round of inquiries, agencies then filed 10 of the missing reports, I then reported a couple of weeks later. Now as the month comes to a close, the Associated Press has reported on Point of Impact’s work, noting: “Attention was drawn to […]