Texas’ top judges concerned about trust in criminal justice system

A daylong summit on race in the justice system for Texas judges recently held in Dallas was initially supposed to be 20-minute shorts aired nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service. “But we’re different here in Texas,” said Nathan Hecht, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas at the December summit in Dallas. “We decided instead just to invite all the judges.” Personal invitations from […]

Are Castle Doctrine cases handled differently when officers are involved?

For 96 hours each year, Robert Malone dons a Potter County Sheriff’s Office uniform and volunteers as a reserve deputy, a position that keeps his 25-year peace officer license current. The license empowers Malone – and all who wear a badge – to perform certain duties while on-duty. But when he used deadly force to defend his property from burglars he was off-duty and legally, […]

Training day with the TPA

Getting out of your comfort zone is a must-do for journalists, in my opinion. That’s one reason why I felt it was important to take a training course for law enforcement put on by the Texas Police Association recently. Most of the participants were Texas Department of Public Safety officers (and brass) who are now required to take the eight-hour verbal de-escalation class. It was an […]

Mental health issues examined in second Point of Impact case

Perhaps because this incident took place in Paris, Texas, where few knew Garrett Steven McKinney, this shooting from September 2015 attracted little attention. Through records and interviews, Point of Impact examines the incident in an effort to explain more about why unarmed people are sometimes shot and killed by law enforcement. McKinney’s shooti ng is one of 19 under review during this year-long project. Posted in full on […]

Texas DPS shooting ends man’s battle with mental illness

Three minutes passed between friendly fist-bump and deadly shooting. State Trooper Timothy Keele spotted Garrett Steven McKinney on the evening of Sept. 21, 2015 straddling a concrete highway barrier in the North Texas town of Paris. McKinney, still built as he was during his football days at Bowie High School, was waving his arms and kicking up his legs at passing cars. What Keele didn’t […]

Texas police have shot 159 people since last September

Completing our Labor Day weekend rollout, the San Antonio Express-News ran our introductory story on the front page Tuesday, Sept. 6. Read the story here, and refresh/search online if you can’t read the full story – like the Chronicle, the Express-News keeps some content behind a paywall. To explore demographic information on the shootings, check out the graphics below. View/search document collection

Houston sees far more shootings than other Texas cities

The Houston Chronicle ran a version of our first story on the front page on Monday, Sept. 5. It highlights some numbers specific to Houston, a city that has seen far more officer-involved shootings than others in Texas over the past 12 months. Read the story here, and refresh/search online if you can’t read the full story – the Chronicle keeps some content behind a paywall. To explore demographic […]

Point of Impact launches

AUSTIN, Texas – A cellphone mistaken for a gun as an officer tries to serve a warrant that leads to the death of a man as his wife watches. A man suffering a mental health crisis who doesn’t respond properly to an officer’s commands, is seen as a deadly threat and killed. A 12-year-old injured by police gunfire during a pursuit, the incident so shrouded in secrecy that […]

Officer-Involved shooting statistics

Interactions between the public and law enforcement, along with race relations and use of force concerns, are major concerns among society these days. That concern is reflected in the media, which is now covering these issues like never before. Point of Impact is focusing on the unarmed people who are shot by law enforcement in Texas. The Texas Tribune’s series, “Unholstered,” examines police shootings in […]