The Cop Watchers: Chasing (and Sometimes Trolling) Police in the Name of Liberty

Categories: Cover Story, Crime

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Dylan Hollingsworth
Cop-watcher Kory Watkins squats and films a traffic stop in Arlington. Is this interfering?
Their camcorders and phones recording, about 10 cop-watchers stand on an embankment between six busy lanes and four gas pumps at an Arlington gas station, wondering why cops keep coming for what looks like a simple traffic stop. Don't all these cops have something better to do, they think, like fighting crime?

Three Arlington officers get out of their squad cars and form a loose wall between the officer conducting the stop and those recording. "Get back," an officer says. "Get back." The cop-watchers look at each other in confusion. Get back? Why?

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Jerry Jones Lawyers Deny Sexual Assault Allegations at Hearing

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Frank Hoover via Twitter
The lawyer for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appeared in a Dallas courtroom Friday to argue that a lawsuit accusing Jones of sexual assault -- and the Cowboys of conspiracy to cover it up -- should be dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

Attorney Gregory Shamoun also said the claims made against Jones earlier this month were lies.

Jones never assaulted Jana Weckerly in June 2009, Shamoun said, so there could not have been a conspiracy between Jones, the Cowboys and Jones' longtime attorney -- and co-defendant in this case -- Levi McCathern.

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Another Student Is Suing SMU Over its Handling of an Alleged Sexual Assault

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Curt Teich & Co.
An SMU freshman who accused a well-known fraternity brother of sexually assaulted him is now suing the school, saying it violated Title IX by acting "deliberately indifferent" to his report of sexual assault and to prior sexual harassment by his alleged assailant, John David Mahaffey.

See also: Another SMU Student Has Been Arrested for Sexual Assault

The alleged incident happened in September 2012, when the student told police that Maheffey, a fourth-generation SMU student and prestigious Hunt scholar, coerced him into the oral sex by threatening him to block him from Sigma Phi Epsilon and with the loss of his own Hunt Leadership scholarship. The next day, SMU police recorded a phone conversation between the student and Mahaffey.

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Among Very Few Other Things, Cowboys Actually Good at Not Getting Arrested

Categories: Crime, Sports

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Mahanga
The team that plays here is pretty disciplined. Off the field at least.
Since 2000, Dallas Cowboys players have been arrested only 14 times, well below league average, according to a report compiled by The New York Times' The Upshot blog from USA Today data.

NFL players have had 713 reported legal run-ins since USA Today started the database in January 2000. (It's maintained by sports writer Brent Schrotenboer.) The average squad has seen 22 incidents, while players for the most-arrested team, the Minnesota Vikings, have been on the wrong side of the law 44 times -- including the child abuse arrest of Palestine's Adrian Peterson last week and the four Vikings accused as part of the infamous "love boat" party in 2005.

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Three Cop Watchers Get Arrested for Videotaping Arlington Police

Categories: Crime

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Sky Chadde
Cop-watchers and Arlington police officers at a traffic stop in August, as the tension between them increased.
Three people on a "cop watch" were arrested while videotaping a traffic stop by an Arlington police officer late Saturday night. The people are part of organizations Texas Cop Block and the Tarrant County Peaceful Streets Project, whose members tape police in a effort to hold them accountable for their actions. Until recently, that mostly meant gathering a small group to drive around Arlington in search of traffic stops (not anything else), parking nearby and pointing a camera. In the past several months, they've done this without incident.

There was a usual script: These people would record, and the cops would do their thing, or the watchers would cause the cops to stop doing what they were doing. At a recent cop watch, I was in the car when we pulled up to one traffic stop. The man was on the ground with had his hands behind his back. As soon as cop-watcher Joseph Tye got out of his car, the two officers let the man go. He got in his truck and drove away, and so did the officers. However, as the group has gotten more publicity, notably a Fox 4 report that got the word out and garnered them their largest attendance yet, the interactions between officers of the Arlington Police Department and the cop watchers have grown heated.

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Off-Duty Officer Fatally Shoots Suspect in Killing Near Northeast Dallas Walmart

Categories: Crime

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Dallas Police Department
The scene from the latest officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning.
An off-duty Dallas police officer shot and killed a man police said is a suspect in a fatal shooting in Northwest Dallas early Wednesday.

Around 12:40 a.m., two men began to quarrel at the pumps of a gas station near Midpark Road and Central Expressway, police said. One of the men fired a shot, and the second drove forward into some parked cars. He was later found dead in his vehicle.

An off-duty Dallas officer who had just finished his shift at a nearby Walmart walked out of the the store to investigate. He saw several people, apparently including the shooter, get in a vehicle at the gas station and drive toward the street. He followed them in his own vehicle.

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Dallas Officer Shoots and Kills Man Who Kidnapped His Own Children

Categories: Crime

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Dallas Police Department
The intersection of Lake June and Prairie Creek roads, where a officer shot a kidnapping suspect.
Monday morning in southern Dallas, Steven Douglas rammed his truck into a car, breaking out the driver's side window. It belonged to the mother of his children. With her three kids, she had been trying to run away from him. He'd visited her apartment that morning, and, when she managed to get her kids in the car and drive, he'd chased her. She'd been on the phone with 911 dispatch as she headed toward a police station, but now her progress had been stopped. Douglas, gun in hand, opened his truck's door.

As he pointed the gun at her, he took two of the three children, a 9-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy, and put them in his truck (the third child is not his). The 29-year-old Douglas was apparently upset that their mother was now dating someone else, according to police. He hit the gas pedal.

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You Can Now Buy a Rick Perry Mugshot T-Shirt from Your Friends at RickPAC

Categories: Crime

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Travis County Sheriff's Office
Now available on a sweet T-shirt.

Continuing to make hay while the sun shines, RickPAC, our esteemed governor's political action committee, is now selling T-shirts featuring his mugshot.

See also: Rick Perry Wisely Strikes Back with Video Targeting Travis County DA

The shirts, available for a minimum donation of $25, feature the aforementioned mugshot with the word "WANTED" stamped across the top. Perry's crime, according to the shirts? "Securing the border and defeating Democrats."

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An Off-Duty Dallas Cop Shot and Killed an Active Shooter in South Dallas Last Night

Categories: Crime

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Sky Chadde
Police work the crime scene behind the yellow tape in South Dallas late Thursday night.
The man heard the first gun shot down the street and moved the kids from the front yard into the house. Then he heard four more. The man, a neighbor who requested we don't name him, says he wasn't surprised there was a shooting in the area, a tree-lined street of old houses near Ledbetter Drive in South Dallas. On Monday, the man says, there was one down the other way. But on Thursday night, when an off-duty officer shot a suspect, it was the quickest he's seen the police respond to the neighborhood.

Around 6:30, the sun still out, 20-year-old Ladarius Campbell pulled up next to a woman's vehicle, which was at a stop sign at the intersection of Veterans Drive and 52nd Street, Deputy Chief Gil Garza said at the crime scene. The relationship between the two were unknown at the time of the press conference late Thursday night, but Garza said they began to argue. Then, Campbell pulled out a gun and fired into the woman's car.

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Two Dallas Cops Shot a Man Last Night, but They Say He Killed Himself

Categories: Crime

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Dallas Police Department
Police may have killed an armed suspect in a hotel parking lot.
As midnight rolled around last night, a police car with officers Jay Jankowski and Michelle Herczeg pulled into the rear lot of the Grand Hotel Dallas, just off LBJ Freeway, where they saw an idling truck. They thought the truck had been stolen, police say, so they went to investigate.

Jankowski went to the driver's side window, and Herczeg the passenger's. She tapped on the window, police say, and noticed that Terence Michael Groessel was pointing a gun at her partner. "Gun!" She shouted.

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