[WB1] Violent crime tops the links roundup for this weekend, as it frequently does.
This weekend, a constable patrol officer (Corporal Charles Galloway, a 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old girl) was killed by a motorist (still at large) during a routine traffic stop in southwest Houston. While we don’t yet know much about the motorist just yet (the Chronicle report omitted some details found in TV news coverage, for reasons unknown), we can make an educated guess (based on recent trends) that he had warrants or was out on bond or perhaps even in the country illegally. These are the typical signs of lawlessness in our area that have been on the rise for a while now, along with incidents of violent crime.
Various leaders have insisted that justice will be served, and we have no doubt that all sorts of area policing resources will be deployed to this particular cause. Galloway’s fellow law enforcement officers want to make the streets safer, and politicians need the city and county not to look like the killing field it’s becoming (even for law enforcement officers). Unfortunately, not all of the area’s hundreds of homicide victims in recent years are likely to draw the same resources.
Another problem is that no political leader has stepped up with a realistic plan to deal with the surge in violent crime that’s affecting everyone (not just law enforcement officers). Certainly, the Harris County Commissioners Court Democratic majority’s effort to reduce the jail population at the start of the pandemic combined with the reckless bond policies of Harris County’s Democratic judges has contributed to the problem, along with reactive (outdated?) policing models and an outrageous trial court backlog.
Some people made a big deal a while back about State Sen. John Whitmire’s plans to run for Houston mayor, and with his clout and funding, he will certainly be a favorite to win/buy the seat in 2023. Maybe it’s time to hear a word or two from him about how he plans to tackle the area’s violent crime problem, as it doesn’t appear to be going away and current leaders don’t seem to have answers.
[WB2] On 14 January 2022, a red Cadillac was stolen from Fixers Automotive, injuring the owner of the shop (and damaging the car). For roughly a week, the bad guys apparently committed armed robberies and other crimes in the area, including the one described here. They were finally caught this Friday (21 January).
Political leaders were quick to praise HPD for the arrests. While it’s good to get these bad guys off the streets for a little while (we will guess they were or will be released on low or no bond, but haven’t verified that), it’s not so good that it took a full week to find this highly identifiable car that was linked to ongoing crimes.
[WB4] A Houston police dog was stabbed this weekend as officers worked to apprehend a carjacking suspect (see also: Chronicle, KPRC-2, KTRK-13). The dog was taken to surgery and is apparently doing fine. The suspect has already been released on bond, according to Andy Kahan.
[WB5] Councilmember Michael Kubosh has filed a bar grievance on behalf of over 150 victims allegedly murdered by suspects who were set loose on low or no bond by Harris County’s Democratic judges (see also: Chronicle, KRIV-26).
[WB6] The self-important Houston Chronicle editorial board informs that they will continue to bring their “expertise” to the task of screening and recommending political candidates. Well, except for some races. This year, they are apparently much too busy to screen or endorse “primary candidates for county courts of law or justices of the peace, or for civil, family or juvenile benches.”
We have long argued that the newspaper’s editorial board should be disbanded and their salaries be re-allocated towards improving news/investigative. By punting on evaluation of judicial races that matter to the community’s safety and well-being, they seem to be making that case themselves.
[WB7] Some of the local nonprofits/philanthropies that have, in recent years, been engaged in local advocacy for “criminal justice reform” (Arnold Ventures) and “smart growth” (Kinder Institute), among other policies, have decided our area needs a new nonprofit newsroom, which will undoubtedly focus even more than the existing newspaper and public media news organization on Houston’s ongoing transformation into a progressive, world-class utopia.
[WB8] Houston’s immigrant resettlement industry (aka Big Immigration) appears to have run into a significant obstacle.
[WB9] A Texas Monthly writer wonders if US Rep. Dan Crenshaw is in trouble. The story oddly omits any mention of the ongoing tiff between Crenshaw and local radio talker Michael Berry, which is starting to resemble a professional wrestling-style feud.
[WB10] The City of Houston will do away with its old-style pet license tags, instead requiring dogs and cats to be microchipped. This seems like a reasonable reform, although the impact is likely to be limited, given the city’s 4% compliance rate with existing licensing requirements.
[WB11] The San Antonio flood control tunnel described in this Chronicle story is a pretty nice feat of engineering (though we’re not sure why the writer assumes nobody knows about it – check out the various pieces of visible infrastructure sometime if you’re exploring San Antonio’s river trail system). Flood control experts are evaluating similar technology for possible use in mitigating Harris County flooding.
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