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 […]

Police shootings of dogs sometimes injure humans too

Pamela Chevalier-Jensen, 39, called the Harris County sheriff’s office last year to report that her house guest’s estranged husband had been issuing threats. But as Chevalier-Jensen stood in the doorway of her Houston home on Aug. 14 holding her American bulldog, the department said, the dog became aggressive and the officer fired a shot. The bullet hit the 18-month-old dog in the face and sent […]

State database on officer-involved shootings has gaps

A dozen officer-involved shootings since September 2015 have not been properly reported to the state attorney general, apparently violating a groundbreaking new Texas law aimed at enhancing transparency in the often-high-profile incidents. At least 12 Texas law enforcement agencies failed to report 10 instances of an officer fatally shooting a civilian, according to an analysis of reports filed through Jan. 31. In some of those […]