Armed Huey P. Newton Gun Activists and Black Panthers Marched Through Dallas Yesterday

Categories: Guns

Sky Chadde
A man who gave his name as "Black Rabbit." The marchers said they were instructed not to speak to the media, leaving that up to designated spokesmen.
The woman in the passing car shouted, "Black power!" And the gun-rights advocates lined up on the sidewalk outside Forest Avenue Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard returned the call. In the heat of a Wednesday afternoon, about 30 black men and a few women, dressed head-to-toe in black, stood with long guns slung around their shoulders. They marched to protest police brutality in general and to encourage gun ownership.

A few groups were represented in the ranks of the marchers, said Charles Goodson, an organizer of the march and head of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which wants people to know they have the right to own guns. Many marchers had Black Panther patches on their black fatigues. Marcher Priest DeBrazier said the Panthers were there in response to the slaying of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, but Goodson said the march had been planned before Brown's death August 9.

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Rocket Dockets for Kids in Immigration Courts Raise Doubts About Fairness

Categories: Immigration

Increasingly speedy court processes for unaccompanied kids is leading some lawyers to nickname downtown Dallas' juvenile immigration cases "rocket dockets."

Last week, we told you about 13-year-old Gaby, who was given an order of deportation from immigration Judge Michael Baird. Gaby is from Honduras, and will be sent back this fall after having been in the United States for less than a year. Her court appearances will have taken place in the course of just over a month, a dramatically hastened process from juvenile cases even a year ago.

See also: In Dallas' Time-Crunched Immigration Court, a Mom Watches Her Teen Daughter Get Deported

It's an effect immigration lawyers are calling rocket dockets. And it's primarily affecting all those unaccompanied kids from Central America pouring into Dallas that you've been hearing so much about.

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How the Mayor's Task Force Wants to Combat Poverty in Dallas

Categories: City Hall

City of Dallas
Doing what he can to fight poverty.
In February, Mayor Mike Rawlings created a task force to fight against what he calls Dallas' "barbell economy." Dallas is a wealthy city, experiencing 68 percent GDP growth between 2000 and 2012, but it is also a city with pockets of concentrated poverty that promote blight and toxic stress for residents.

The task force, headed by Councilman Tennell Atkins, CitySquare president Larry James and attorney Regina Montoya, has been helped in the preceding months by hundreds of people. As you might expect, its recommendations to the council were general, if pragmatic and unlikely to face much opposition.

The recommendation likely to receive the most attention is a plan to leverage the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to reduce poverty and generate revenue for the city.

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Dallas Creationist Researchers Have Already Proven Bible's Version of Earth's Beginning, According to Their Own Website

Categories: Science

This isn't art as much as journalism, according to science.
You've probably heard about the nine researchers with real Ph.D.s who are on a mission to prove that the Bible's version of how the Earth formed is real, using scientific evidence. Sure, many pastors have argued for years that the creation story in Genesis shouldn't be taken literally and that it's more about the message. But those pastors aren't scientists.

"Our attempt is to demonstrate that the Bible is accurate, not just religiously authoritative," Henry Morris III, CEO of the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research, told The Dallas Morning News in a profile of the group.

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Our Favorite Rick Perry Mugshots


Now, we're not sure if you live on the moon, under a rock, or under a rock on the moon, but you probably noticed Rick Perry handed himself in yesterday to face his indictment on felony charges for abuse of power. If you've ever heard of a thing called "Twitter," you may also have noticed that Rick had a mugshot, or more accurately a smugshot, in which he tried to look as if the charges mean nothing to him. It was, of course, a perfectly Rick Perry thing to do. He then went out for ice cream, which is amazing.

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"Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch's Dad Has Been Arrested for Pretending to Be a Cop

North Richland Hills Police Department
It seems like Fred Couch wasn't considering the consequences of his action.
You likely remember Ethan Couch, the then-16-year-old boy who, while drunk and stoned on Valium, drove his car into four people, killing them, and then got 10 years probation because of his privileged upbringing that the judge termed "affluenza"? Yeah, pretty sure you remember him.

Well: His father, Fred Couch, was arrested Tuesday morning and accused of (very poorly) impersonating a police officer.

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Plano Developers Won't Let Homeowners Install Solar Panels Because They're Just So Ugly

Categories: The 'Burbs

Plano developers think solar panels like these aren't very pretty, and would prevent sales.
Darn those young vegan-organic-diet, yoga-loving hippies with their electric cars and their solar panels. They must all be moving up to Plano from Austin, and frankly the Plano home builders and developers won't stand for it.

In 2011, state legislation forbade Home Owners Associations from banning solar panels on homes. But a fine-print clause pushed by the Texas Homebuilders Association stipulates that if a neighborhood is still under development, neighborhood developers and the HOA have the right to stop homeowners from installing solar panels.

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Dallas' Police Union Really Doesn't Want DA Craig Watkins to Investigate Police Shootings

DPA President Ron Pinkston doesn't think having two investigations at one crime scene will work out.
Last week, Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins announced the formation of a new Civil Rights Unit, a two-person team that will investigate shootings by officers independent of the police department. Chief David Brown supports the unit. "You can't have enough oversight when it comes to police-involved shootings," he said at Monday's town hall meeting. By being more open to the public about police shootings, the unit is meant to help restore the public's trust in law enforcement, Watkins said.

Engendering public faith in police officers is a goal Ron Pinkston, the Dallas Police Association's president, says he can get behind, but he doesn't take kindly to the fact that, come October 1, two non-police officers will have the full-time job of investigating when one of his members uses deadly force. On Monday, before the town hall meeting, the DPA released its own plan, which Brown can listen to or not, to improve the transparency of the department when one of its own shoots a suspect.

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In Fight Over Dallas' Racist Housing Policies, HUD Threw the Whistleblowers Under the Bus

Categories: Schutze

Wait. How do you know when you have the right Castro?
If the editorial in The Dallas Morning News this morning has any credibility, and I am sure it does, HUD has agreed to throw the whistleblowers under the bus in the Lockey/MacKenzie racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas.

It's not a surprising outcome, because paying off the two developers who first accused Dallas five years ago of having a secret racist housing policy has always been the city's sticking point.

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Greg Abbott Shoots Down Local Rep's Call for Independent Watkins Investigation

Categories: Politics

Thumbnail image for Craig_Watkins_061910.jpg
Sam Merten
Craig Watkins
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott rejected a request from Republican state Representative Jason Villalba to investigate Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins' use of asset forfeiture funds to make good on a February 2013 traffic accident Watkins caused. Abbott told Villalba that he can't initiate an investigation based solely on a request from a legislator.

That doesn't mean Villalba is giving up just yet.

Debbie Denmon, spokeswoman for Watkins, says the district attorney was driving a county SUV to a law enforcement gathering to give a speech. On the Dallas North Tollway, Watkins glanced at his speech, Denmon says, and rear-ended another vehicle. Repairs to both vehicles, as well as the other driver's medical bills, were paid with forfeiture funds Watkins controls.

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