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Showing posts from May, 2020

Governor Abbott Declares State of Disaster for All State's Counties Following Weekend Protests

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Governor Greg Abbott declared a State of Disaster for all Texas counties following several protests in cities throughout Texas over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Under this declaration, the Governor has the ability to designate federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers. “Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Governor Abbott said in a release. “However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive. As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss. By authorizing additional federal agents to serve as Texas Peace Officers we will help protect people’s safety while ensuring that peaceful protesters can continue to make their voices heard.” Sparked

Volunteers Help Clean Up Damage to Businesses After Night of Protests

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An army of volunteers in Minneapolis appeared to help neighbors clean up business damage.  They were told to "[b]ring a broom."  This will restore your faith in humanity.   My faith and hope remain in the goodness that exists and thrives among us. #love https://t.co/kGbKLChXiv — HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) May 30, 2020

Atlanta Mayor- Demonstrations in Atlanta Are "Disgracing the Life of George Floyd"

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the violent demonstrations in Atlanta are "disgracing the life of George Floyd" "When you burn down this city, you're burning down our community, if you want change in America, go and register to vote."

Texas Policy Group Changes Name to Reflect "Social Justice Mission"

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AUSTIN — A think tank and advocacy group that a daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson says for decades has been “Texas’ most effective public policy instrument for working families” is getting a new name. Beginning Wednesday, the Center for Public Policy Priorities will call itself Every Texan. “We believe that this name better reflects who we are and our social justice mission for Texas,” said Ann Beeson, the group’s chief executive. “It’s not a secret that our current name is a bit of a mouthful.” To see more CLICK HERE .

State Finds Shelby County Jail Non-Compliant on Two Counts

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CENTER, Texas (KTRE) - The Texas Commission on Jail Standards found the Shelby County Jail non-compliant on two issues during an inspection on May 4. The first citation states “A review of medical files indicated that jail staff are not properly filling out the Screening Form for Suicide and Medical/Mental/Developmental Impairments in its entirety and making notifications as required.” The second citation states “During the walkthrough the facility, it was identified that the secure jail doors have false secure door indicators on the control board.” The TCJS lists jails on its list of non-compliance until they pass a reinspection. To see original story CLICK HERE .

De Blasio “If They Had Just Gotten Out of the Way” And Not Attempted to Surround Car . . .

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In an interview with NY1 on Saturday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to defend NYPD officers following an  earlier incident in Brooklyn  in which a pair of police vehicles plowed through a group of protesters. De Blasio argued that it was an “impossible situation”: If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this. In a situation like that, it’s a very, very tense situation. And imagine what it would be like, you’re just trying to do your job and then you see hundreds of people converging upon you. I’m not gonna blame officers who are trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation. The folks who were converging on that police car did the wrong thing to begin with and they created an untenable situation. I wish the officers had found a different approach. But let’s begin at the beginning. The protesters in that video did the wrong thing to surround them, surround that police

40 Cities Impose Curfews As a Result of Protests

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Local authorities in dozens of cities ordered curfews on Saturday in response to reported violence or declarations of unlawful assembly amid protests. Some of the curfews already extend through Monday morning. The cities include: Atlanta In California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Pasadena, and Santa Monica Chicago Denver Ferguson In Florida: Miami-Dade County and Leon County (Tallahassee) Indianapolis Louisville In Minnesota: Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester Nashville In Nevada: Reno and Washoe County In Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo In Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh In Oregon: Portland and Eugene Richmond , Virginia Rochester , New York Salt Lake City San Antonio Seattle In South Carolina: Charleston and Columbia In Wisconsin: Madison and Milwaukee The National Guard has been activated in: California Colorado Georgia Kentucky Minnesota Missouri (for Kansas City) Ohio Tennessee Texas Utah Washington Wisconsin To see

Victim of Harris' Rape and Chokehold Identified- Adalinda Delgado-Staiman. Son, "I hope He Rots in Prison!"

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The son of an East Harlem woman left in a coma by a rapist who choked her on the street is cheering the arrest of a suspect in the shocking case. “I hope he rots in prison,” Kristian Delgado, 37, the victim’s son, said of suspect Frankie Harris. “I’m going to make sure.” Harris, 38, of Bushwick, Brooklyn, faces attempted murder, rape, strangulation and sex abuse charges for the sickening attack on 64-year-old Adalinda Delgado-Staiman on E. 111th St. near Second Ave. last Monday. Delgado-Staiman is mentally disabled, her son said. “She was loved by everyone," Delgado said. “She had a few issues, psychiatric issues, but everybody who knew her loved her.” Delgado’s mother was on her way home when Harris rode by on a Citi Bike, parked it between two cars and approached her, according to police. “She came from eating something because she was hungry," a tearful Delgado said. “She went to go get some food and she was attacked right in front of her building.” Harris struck up a conv

Houston Mayor, "This is Our House. This is Our Home."

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Multiple people were arrested during the march for Houston native, George Floyd, on Friday in downtown. Eighty percent of the protests on Friday were peaceful, while the rest involved defacing buildings, looting and committing other violence, said Mayor Sylvester Turner. He asked residents to report any individuals intending to do violence. "This is our house," Turner said during a news conference on Saturday. "This is our home." Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo mentioned officers won't tolerate criminal misconduct, but they will march with protesters "in a constructive way, not destructive way." "We stand with George Floyd's family, the African American community. We will come march with them (protesters)," said Acevedo. "Until the saints come marching home, until we can't march no more." To keep residents safe, he added HPD will not use rubber bullets or gas and mandated protesters avoid highways.

Faces of Bail Reform- Frankie Harris, 38

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A Brooklyn man accused of attacking a woman so viciously that he left her in a vegetative state had been charged in two prior assaults this year — but was twice freed without bail, The Post has learned. Frankie Harris, 38, allegedly put a 64-year-old woman in a chokehold for three minutes, pulled her to the ground and raped her May 18 in Harlem, according to Manhattan prosecutors. But his crime spree allegedly began about three months earlier when cops busted Harris in Harlem on Feb. 6 for slapping a woman’s buttocks. On Feb. 11, another bail hearing was held before Justice Althea Drysdale at the request of the defense — and she ordered Harris to be freed from jail and instead participate in a supervised release program, court records show. Less than two weeks later, cops nabbed Harris in Brooklyn after he allegedly violently attacked several strangers on the L train platforms at the Jefferson Street and Morgan Avenue stations. Harris allegedly spit on and hit a mother, and threatened

Victims of Bail Reform- Caitlynne Guajardo

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Caitlynne had faith that the criminal justice system would protect her.  She reported her husband for domestic violence.  He had a recent arrest and was current on a PR bond.  He was re-arrested and again released on a PR bond.  The court issued a protective order.  Alex Guajardo ignored it and went home and stabbed his wife to death.  He told investigators that he intentionally stabbed her in the stomach so that if she lived no other man could raise his child.  Caitlynne Guajardo, a victim of bail reform. Here is more about what happened to her-

"I Will Not Rush Justice Because Justice Cannot Be Rushed"- Hennipin County Attorney

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In a news conference on Thursday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that despite the horrific video of George Floyd’s death, “there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge” against the police officer involved. Attorney Freeman is investigating the death of Floyd, a Black man who died when he was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. His office later issued a clarification, saying “it is critical to review all the evidence” to adequately prepare for trial. Hennepin Co. Attorney Freeman: “That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that. But my job in the end is to prove that he violated a criminal statute, and there's other evidence that does not support a criminal charge... I will not rush to justice.” pic.twitter.com/RZ9iYsvQ1W — NBC News (@NBCNews) May 28, 2020

200 Arrested in Houston Protests, 4 Officers Injured

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Four Houston police officers were injured Friday night as nearly 200 people were arrested in a night of chaos and tension in downtown Houston. It began as a rally and march over the death of George Floyd Friday afternoon and deteriorated into tension and violence as the evening wore on. By Saturday morning, broken windows and graffiti were left behind as the crowds finally dispersed. Eight Houston police cruisers were damaged in the unrest. Among the arrests, a woman was asked to leave the protest after she allegedly took out a rifle. Another protester appeared to have been carrying a machete in an unrelated encounter. To see more CLICK HERE .  Related tweets: Our officers who were attacked are in the hospital, patrol cars ruined, businesses damaged, this is not who we are as a City and as a community. We will protect your right protest, but we will not allow our city to decay into chaos. — Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) May 30, 2020   #BlackLivesMatter Protests in downtown #Houston #Ge

Tennessee Asks State Agencies to Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

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The Governor of Tennessee has asked state agencies to consider a 12% cut back in funding.  The governor's finance commissioner stated that they are planning for the worst but hoping for the best.  The governor may recommend a multi-year solution so that there is no one year 'slashing and burning' of the state budget. To see more CLICK HERE .

Why Cutting Jobs Won't Solve States' Budget Crisis

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In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine froze hiring. New York’s Andrew Cuomo halted raises for 85,000 union workers, including police and corrections officers. In Pennsylvania, 9,000 state employees stopped getting paychecks. And it’s just the beginning. While over 40 million jobs have vanished during the pandemic, states have held off on firing workers en masse. Yet as they reopen, huge deficits caused by Covid-19 mean layoffs are all but certain. Deciding who — and how many — will lose jobs will require tough choices and have devastating consequences for those affected. On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the state may have to fire 200,000 public workers.   But using job cuts to make the budget math work won’t be so simple. That’s because what might seem like a straightforward cost-savings strategy is anything but, according to former state budget officers. Not only is there severance pay for accrued vacation and sick days, but also provisions that let some former employees, lik

Impatient Defendant Awaiting Release, Escapes, Leading to Manhunt, Rearrest and New Charges

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A 21-year-old prisoner awaiting release on bail took off, and was arrested yet again by officers who later caught up with him, police said. Brian Thierwecher of Sandwich escaped from the Bourne Police Department and ran off around 7:21 p.m. Thursday. Police from multiple law enforcement agencies then ran after him throughout the Buzzards Bay area. Just after 9:30 p.m., Thierwecher was taken back into custody in the area of 343 Scenic Highway. Thierwecher was taken back to the Bourne Police Department and remains in custody. He faces new charges of escape and resisting arrest. To see more CLICK HERE.

Bondsmen Shot Attempting to Bring Back Defendant Who Missed Court

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A bail bondsman was shot in south Nashville Friday morning. Officers were called to apartments at 1114 Brentwood Place for reports of the shooting. A bail bondsman told Metro Police he went into the apartment to arrest a man on misdemeanor citations. The person wanted on the warrant was inside the apartment with a friend, who says he thought they were being robbed so he fired a gunshot. The bail bondsman was struck in the arm and has non-life threatening injuries. To see more CLICK HERE . Note (In Texas, bondsmen do not have the power to arrest defendants who miss court).

Republished- A Judge's Take on Surety Bonds- A View from the Bench

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by Cynthia Stevens Kent, former judge of the 114th Judicial District Court Smith County, Texas Having served as a judge in Texas since 1984, one lesson has been clear . . . if you want a defendant to timely appear in court to answer charges filed by the State of Texas, make sure there is a surety bond posted. Without the efforts of sureties in posting bonds, our county jails would be severely overcrowded. Without the efforts of sureties in monitoring and notifying criminal defendants of court dates there would be such delays in prosecution of cases as to interfere with the due and proper administration of justice in Texas courts.  Smith County, Texas has experienced, as many Texas counties have over the past few decades, enormous jail overcrowding problems. From the two-cell jail built in Smith County in 1856 at a cost of $8,000 to the current three facilities certified to hold 750 inmates and a new 59.6 million dollar jail bond proposal for an additional 694 beds, the problems of jail

What the Heck Do Bondsmen Actually Do? It Turns Out A Lot

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by Mike Byrd, President of the Professional Bondsmen of Texas The Bail Industry has been around for over 200 years.  The bail industry in Texas is made up of small business owners who employ hundreds of employees statewide.  These businesses are their own private sector pretrial services offices.   Bondsmen in Texas are either licensed by county bail bond boards or approved to write bonds in the county by the Sheriff.  Bondsmen attend continuing 8 hours of continuing education every two years.  The  bondsmen of Texas evaluate the risk of posting a bond for defendants every day.  The bonding industry evaluates the risk of a defendant running and not appearing for court.  The industry on average charges 10% of the face amount of the bond as a premium which is often paid in installments over time.   When the defendant is released from jail it is the responsibility of the bondsman to ensure that the defendant will appear for court.  Therefore, the bonding industry provides a high level of

New York's No-Bail Laws Claim Another Victim **Warning Graphic**

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She’s in a vegetative state and expected to die in days after a brutal assault and rape — and she’s another victim of the state’s demented bail “reforms”: Her alleged attacker was released twice without bail after arraignment on two prior assaults this year. Frankie Harris, 38, was charged this week with rape, strangulation and attempted murder for the May 18 East Harlem attack, in which he allegedly put a 64-year-old woman in a chokehold for three minutes before pulling her to the ground and raping her. Harris claimed it was consensual until cops showed him surveillance footage — then said he was trying to revive her after seeing a Puerto Rican man choke her. Huh: A prior criminal complaint says Harris threatened to kill Puerto Ricans in February, punching a woman in the mouth in front of her two young children, then popping one man in the face and spitting on another yelling, “Puerto Rican f - - - - t.” That earned him 16 charges, including third-degree assault as a hate crime, aggra

PBT Published Article- "Seeking to Change How Bail and Criminal Justice Works, Advocates Have Turned the System on Its Head"

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When Everyone Says You Are Wrong, Maybe You Are by Ken W. Good “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results,” is a saying widely attributed to famed physicist, Albert Einstein.  Sadly, we are seeing the manifestation of this concept in the misguided efforts toward reforming the American criminal justice system. The premise of law in our country is based on a common set of moral rules consisting of permitted conduct.  Philosophically, without these rules, humans would be under a constant state of war.  In order to prevent this, we have developed criminal laws which seek to codify the moral laws upon which we agree bind us together as a society.  This allows individuals to prosper and not live in fear for their safety.  Advocates seeking to change how criminal justice works, and our bail system in particular, do not agree with this principle.  Rather, they have turned this concept on its head and, in the process, changed the fun