The Dallas Police Department Is Really Bad at Keeping Track of its Weapons

Categories: News

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Tony Webster, via Flickr
Recall last month when it came to light that, whoops, Dallas police had reissued the guns used in not one but two officer-involved shootings, despite the fact that the guns were material evidence important to the felony cases against the two cops, Amy Wilburn and Cardan Spencer, as well as the civil lawsuit filed by the guy Wilburn shot. It seemed a bit too convenient that the guns used by the only two Dallas cops to be indicted for an on-duty shooting in modern times would be allowed back into circulation. Certainly there had to be a conspiracy. Certainly Dallas PD can't be that incompetent.

Actually, according to an audit of the department's internal controls over guns and other weapons City Hall released today, yes. Yes it can. It's also far easier than it should be to steal "high risk inventory" -- i.e. guns, Tasers, badges, and radios.

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The News Has Never Come Faster or Harder, and Nobody Cares

Categories: Schutze

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Strictly from a newspaper point of view and comparing today with maybe 40 years ago, current events are re-writing the basic rules of what we in the business have always called call "story sense."

Forty years ago it would have been major front-page news for researchers to find a geological fault line in a densely populated area. Then, OMG, on top of that, I can't even imagine how huge it would have been for people 40 years ago to see something like Stephen Young's piece here yesterday: He reported that the federal government has found proof that human beings are doing stuff to cause earthquakes all around that fault line.

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Dallas Senator Royce West Is Working to Get Body Cameras on More Texas Cops

Categories: News

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Throwawaysixtynine
On the same day that a Dallas County grand jury refused to indict two Dallas police officers for the shooting of Jason Harrison, a shooting that was captured on one of the officer's body cameras, the Texas State Senate approved a program that would allow cops around the state to wear the cameras.

The camera that filmed the Harrison shooting was one purchased as part of a pilot program concluded last October that put 50 body cameras in the field. Those cameras continued to be used after the program ended, and Dallas Police Chief David Brown promised to add 200 more in 2015.

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If a Pit Bull Attacks My Dogs -- Or Me -- Will I Be Prosecuted If I Shoot the Damn Thing?

Categories: Schutze

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Flickr/maplegirlie
THIS PARTICULAR PIT BULL IS SO CUTE AND UNSHOOTABLE.
Yeah, Steve Blow definitely got my attention yesterday with his column in The Dallas Morning News about an anti-pitbull organization, maybe because I just got my socks scared off again yesterday afternoon by the Amazing Flying Pit Bull From Hell in the alley across the street from me.

I walk my dogs in the alleys. No, not for that reason. I always pick up. I walk my dogs in the alleys because the one that's mine, as opposed to the one that's my wife's, has her own little nip-and-tuck problem if people surprise her. It's under control. I keep her on a tight leash, especially if I see an aggressive dog-smoocher coming at me, one of those people who's going to kiss your dog on the mouth no matter what you say to warn them.

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Grand Jury Declines to Charge Dallas Cops Who Shot Mentally Ill Man Holding a Screwdriver

Categories: Crime

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Jason Harrison in the final seconds of his life, after being shot by Dallas police.
The Dallas cops who shot and killed a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver will not face charges, after a grand jury declined to indict Dallas Police Department Officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins. "The family is obviously severely disappointed," attorney Geoff Henley told The Dallas Morning News.

The news isn't a surprise: police officers in North Texas and the rest of America rarely face charges in officer-involved shootings, and DPD Chief David Brown has previously spoken out in support of the officers. Rogers and Hutchins were placed on administrative leave for five days before returning back to work.

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Feds Get In On Dallas Earthquake Action, Say Region Is At Substantial Risk of More Shaking

Categories: Environment

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United States Geological Survey
DFW is one of 17 areas identified in a United States Geological Survey report released today as having a high risk for "induced seismicity." That means we're doing something that's making the ground shake, namely injecting wastewater byproducts from energy gathering activities back into the ground.

"This new report describes for the first time how injection-induced earthquakes can be incorporated into U.S. seismic hazard maps," Mark Petersen, Chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project, said. "These earthquakes are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and pose a much greater risk to people living nearby. The USGS is developing methods that overcome the challenges in assessing seismic hazards in these regions in order to support decisions that help keep communities safe from ground shaking."

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Two Dallas Cops Have Been Fired for Relationships with Youth Mentees, Prostitutes

Categories: Crime

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Dallas Police Department
Jorge Guzman
The Dallas Police Department's explorer program, a partnership with the Boys Scouts, offers young people with a "sincere interest in law enforcement" the chance to do things like ride-alongs and paint over graffiti with cops. But according to the department, one veteran officer recently took an alarming interest in his explorers, carrying on an "inappropriate relationship" with one and hanging out with some outside of the sanctioned activities.

The officer, Sergeant Jorge Guzman, was fired yesterday. And he wasn't the only one.

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We Talked to a Denton County Inmate Using its Controversial and Bad Video Visitation System

Categories: Crime

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Screengrab
At the Dallas County jail, a local company's attempt last year to end in-person visitations and replace them all with video chats was quickly foiled by local activists and politicians. But in Denton, the same plan recently went off without a hitch. Denton County and the video company Securus are now facing lawsuits for eliminating in-person visits at the Denton jail, as we reported last month.

The visitation system currently in place Denton, as well as other counties where Securus operates, works like this: Video chats at the jail are offered to family and friends at no charge, while video chats done at home are offered for a fee, on the assumption that you're going to be lazy since it's all video anyway and just pay for the video chat from home. The money goes back to the county and Securus, a jail telecommunications company already notorious for its technical glitches and excessive fees on jail phone calls.

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Three Dallas ISD Schools Named Among the Country's Most Challenging

Categories: Education

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Google Street View
Townview Magnet Center
Texas might be about to make it a lot easier to graduate from its public high schools, but three Dallas ISD schools have been ranked among the 15 most challenging in the country by The Washington Post.

See also: Graduating from Texas High Schools Is about to Get a Lot Easier -- Again

The district's Talented and Gifted and Science and Engineering Magnets -- both located in Oak Cliff's Townview Magnet Center -- in addition to Fair Park's Rangel Young Women's Leadership School made the cut. The Townview schools were third and fourth, respectively, and Rangel came in 15th.

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New Cowboy Greg Hardy Suspended 10 Games for Beating His Girlfriend

Categories: Sports

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Shea Huening
Greg Hardy, pass rusher and asshole extraordinaire, will miss the first 10 games of the NFL season.

The former Carolina Panthers defensive end was signed by the Cowboys in March after a 2014 season that saw him miss 15 games. Hardy was placed on the commissioner's exempt list -- read: suspended with pay -- for a May 2014 incident during which he allegedly grabbed his girlfriend, threw her on the floor, strangled her, threw her into a bathtub and slammed her into a futon weighed down with loaded guns. Nicole Holder, his girlfriend at the time, told police Hardy threatened to shoot her if she told anyone.

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