Suit Accuses Fort Worth Police Department of Racism

Categories: Legal Battles

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Fort Worth Police Department
Until 2010, Sergeant Delbert Johnson had a great career at the Fort Worth Police Department. He joined the force in 1990 and had worked his way up to sergeant by 2000. In 2005 he was transferred to the department's day shift traffic division, giving a regular schedule that allowed him to work a second job and spend time with his family.

Things began to change, Johnson says in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, in 2010. That year, he and another officer, James Dunn, saw a photo printed at the traffic division showing one of their fellow officers, Sergeant Ann Gates, holding a noose around a snowman's neck. A complaint was submitted to internal affairs and Gates and the sergeant who took the photo, Mike Cagle, were admonished by the department.

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Pilar Sanders Sentenced to Seven Days in Jail After Getting Weird in Court Tuesday

Categories: Legal Battles

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Roderick Pullum
Pilar Sanders having a better time than she did in court Tuesday.
Two statements that are axiomatic are 1. Anyone representing themselves in court has a fool for a client, and 2. No good ever comes out of the O'Reilly Factor. For evidence, we offer you Deion Sanders' ex-wife Pilar, who was hauled into a Collin County Court by the former Cowboys star on charges that she defamed him on social media and the Fox News show.

Before being informed that she would spend seven days in jail as part of a suspended 30-day sentence for contempt, Pilar Sanders -- as reported by The Dallas Morning News -- went on a series of bizarre rants, questioning the court's authority over her, because she is "not a part of the United States corporation."

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Boy Scouts of America to Pay $7 Million for Sex Abuse

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The Ninjaneer
The site of the 2013 Boy Scouts Jamboree.
The Boy Scouts of America has been found negligent in the case of Siegfried Hepp, a Connecticut troop leader accused of sexually assaulting multiple Scouts. Hepp was convicted of unlawful sexual touching of a minor in 1999.

Witnesses at the trial, held in Waterbury, Connecticut, said that the Irving-based organization knew of widespread sexual abuse in its ranks as early as the 1920s. The organization, they said, kept thousands of what it called "confidential files" in locked cabinets at its Irving headquarters. Scout executives who testified during the trial confirmed the files' existence.

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Night Club Where Josh Brent Partied the Night He Killed Jerry Brown Sues Brent

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Dallas Cowboys
Josh Brent
Josh Brent may have done his time for the December 2012 drunk driving wreck that killed his passenger, former University of Illinois teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr., but the legal battle surrounding the case isn't over. Brent's been sued by Beamers Private Club as it attempts to insulate itself from blame for Brown's death.

Brown's father, Jerry Brown Sr. sued Beamers in November 2013 for over-serving Brent on the night of the wreck. The club, Brown said, served Brent multiple bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne in its private room before the party broke up near 2 a.m. Because of Brent's size, he's listed at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 320 pounds in the Cowboys media guide, he would have drunk enough that a Beamers employee would have noticed him and the fact he was too drunk to drive home, he says.

This November, just as Brent was cleared to play by the NFL and put back on the Cowboys roster, he was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Last Tuesday, the club filed a cross-complaint against Brent seeking that he cover all or part Beamers' cost should they be found liable for Brown's death.

The club says Brent's driving of his Mercedes the night Brown died was negligent, that he "drove at an excessive rate of speed, failed to control his speed, failed to drive within a
single lane of traffic, failed to timely apply his brakes and lost control of his vehicle."


Dallas City Hall and Trinity East Have Teamed Up to Keep Their Fracking Fight in the Dark

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Jay Barker
Back in February of 2013, Schutze shook loose a secret memo showing that City Manager Mary Suhm had struck a secret deal with Trinity East Energy to allow gas drilling on city parkland while, at the same time, promising the City Council that there would be no gas drilling on city parkland. The memo offered a rare glimpse behind the curtain at City Hall, a place where an unelected bureaucrat can and often does flout the will of the people.

One can almost imagine Suhm and Trinity East execs huddled in a dimly lit back room somewhere, a dense cloud of cigar smoke hanging about their heads, their knowing chuckle building to sinister peals of laughter as they imagine playgrounds being replaced by drilling rigs.

Plant that image in your mind, because that could be as close as Dallas gets to actually discovering what transpired between city officials and Trinity East.

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Federal Judge Sanctions Dallas in Protest Lawsuit

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Occupy Dallas
The Dallas City Council's decision last week to repeal its anti-protest ordinance -- the one that has irked both the far left and far right, from the peaceniks railing against the Bush Presidential Library to the Obama-hating patriots -- was a tacit admission that banning people from protesting next to highways is probably unconstitutional, no matter how many times Dallas Police Chief David Brown says it's dangerous.

That realization came too late to save the city from a pair of free speech lawsuits (neither of which, for the record, is going away), and it came too late to save the city from legal sanctions brought on by its apparent legal strategy of mindless obstructionism.

We mentioned here before that the federal judge handling the lawsuit filed by the Bush Library protesters wasn't very happy with the city's knee-jerk refusal to answer rudimentary questions about how the anti-protest ordinance was drafted. Last Wednesday, the same day the City Council repealed the ordinance, a different judge, U.S. Magistrate David Horan, slapped the city with sanctions for its obstructionism.

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DART Driver Accused of Sexually Assaulting Special Needs Passenger Denies Allegations

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Tuesday morning, a lawsuit was filed in federal court by an anonymous plaintiff asserting that her daughter, who has Down syndrome, was raped twice by a DART paratransit driver in September 2013.

According to the plaintiff, driver Cedrick Agentdropped off his other passengers on the bus before pulling over and assaulting her daughter twice in one week.

Agent says nothing happened.

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After Banning Fracking, Denton Braces for Backlash from Drillers, a Bush and its Own Lawyer

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Rich Anderson
Denton residents passed a fracking ban, but now it's up to to city leaders to defend it against the powerful oil and gas industry.
Last week, Denton became the first city in the state to pass a citywide ban on fracking. Voters approved the ban in a landslide, with 59 percent in favor of the ban and 41 percent against, after more than five years of struggle between anti-fracking activists and the energy industry.

See also: Denton Fracking Ban Passes, But for How Long?

Now comes the backlash. The General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association are the first, so far, to file suits against the city. Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick is also hinting at legal action, and has announced her agency will continue to grant drilling permits to companies in Denton.

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Frisco Homeowners Association Can't Kick Out Homeless Teens, Judge Rules

Categories: Legal Battles

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Courtesy of City House
You want to live in Frisco's Plantation Resort 2 neighborhood, you better keep your property looking good and fancy. Because Plantation Resort 2 isn't going to put up with your shit. Here are Plantation Resort 2's hardcore summer lawn-watering instructions:

Although we are currently under water restrictions we cannot allow our turf and landscape to die off or become bare dirt. There are many alternatives and it is your responsibility as an owner to be sure that you maintain your property at all times. A solution to a bare lawn may be to add a landscape bed or a mulch bed under the trees when the grass will not fill in. But please remember bare dirt is not acceptable and does not help maintain property values.

Strict rules apply to any homeowners not using their houses for family-related purposes, as a Collin County nonprofit learned this year when they started sheltering homeless teens in Plantation Resort 2.


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B.S. Meter: Voter ID Law Upheld Because It's Too Close to the November Election

Categories: Legal Battles

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Kjetil Ree
For now, you still have to bring your ID to go vote. If you have one, of course.

On Saturday, the Supreme Court decided to let Texas enforce its strict two-year-old voter ID law, which a district court judge struck down as grossly discriminatory this month, but that ruling was temporarily put on hold by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Got that? No?

Then let us 'splain: You have to bring what the law calls proper identification -- assuming you have some -- to cast your vote this election because otherwise the Supreme Court says you might be confused and just show up to vote the way Texans have always done. You see, apparently it's better to let a new discriminatory law possibly disenfranchise a large number of voters -- 600,000 by one count -- than lay the heavy burden on voters who mistakenly bring identification to the polls when they needn't have bothered.

Whew! Thank you, Supreme Court, for clearing that up.

Of course, the Supreme Court didn't actually say this, since it didn't give a reason for its decision, but the general consensus seems to be that justices figured it would be confusing to make a major overhaul to the law so close to the election. And if you aren't buying that, you're not alone.

See also: Dallasites without Votes IDs Are Generally Poor, Non-White, and -- Surprise! -- Democrats

"The thinking was that issuing a decision this close to the election would disrupt the status quo in a way that would be a detriment to the state," says Lynne Rambo, a professor of constitutional law at Texas A&M law school. "It's not a theory I buy."

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