Houston Matters

‘Sandra Bland’ Bill Aims to Protect Minorities in Police Interactions

Posted on · (Above: Sandra Bland’s booking photo at the Waller County Jail from July 2015. Photo: Waller County Sheriff’s Office via AP) Texas State Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat, has introduced House Bill 2702 at the Texas Legislature, what many are calling the “Sandra Bland bill.” It aims to protect minorities and the mentally ill during interactions […]

Houston Matters

How Are Police Trained to Use Deadly Force?

Posted on · In a week when two police shootings involving African-American men sparked outrage and debate across the nation — and an apparently retaliatory attack against police in Dallas — we wanted to get a law enforcement perspective on the week’s events. Former police officer and law enforcement expert Dr. Melissa Hamilton of the University of Houston Law […]

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Attack on Dallas Police and Police Shootings: Friday’s Show (July 8, 2016)

Posted on · At least five Dallas police officers are dead and seven others injured, along with two civilians, after an attack on law enforcement Thursday night (July 7, 2016) at a downtown protest over fatal police shootings of black men this week in Louisiana and Minnesota. NPR reports police say at least four people were involved in the […]

Houston Matters

How Will Open Carry Affect Residents, Businesses and Law Enforcement?

Posted on · Open carry is now officially legal in Texas. The new law, which took effect Jan. 1, allows licensed Texans to openly carry handguns in a shoulder or hip holster. But, there are some limitations concerning where open carry is allowed — as well as some concerns about how it’ll play out. We discuss the nuances of […]

Houston Matters

Six Years Later, Police Shooting of Robbie Tolan Reaches a Settlement

Posted on · On Tuesday (Sept. 15, 2015), a settlement was reached in a years-long legal dispute stemming from the 2008 shooting in Bellaire of aspiring minor league ballplayer Robbie Tolan by Bellaire police officer Jeffrey Cotton. Tolan was wounded in the incident, which occurred after a traffic stop in front of Tolan’s home. Cotton was ultimately acquitted […]

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Blue Bell and Texas Mutual Investigations: Wednesday’s Show (September 16, 2015)

Posted on · Over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle ran an investigative report examining long-term safety and sanitation issues at Blue Bell ice cream’s flagship Brehnam plant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tainted Blue Bell products have sickened at least 13 people since 2010. Among them, three died after being hospitalized with other illnesses. Chronicle investigative […]

Houston Matters

Sandra Bland’s Sister Discusses Lawsuit; Law Enforcement Expert Weighs In

Posted on · On Tuesday, the family of Sandra Bland filed a federal lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, a state trooper, two jailers and the Waller County Jail in connection with Bland’s death while in jail custody following her July 10 arrest. Bland’s family say they still haven’t received enough answers about her death and autopsy. […]

Houston Matters

What Are the Legal and Ethical Implications of Ghost Guns?

Posted on · As the new session of the Texas Legislature got underway Tuesday, gun rights advocates held a rally at the state capitol with a machine capable of building firearms with 3D-printing technology. These so-called “ghost guns” have no serial numbers. The event was part of a push to get rid of the state’s handgun licensing requirements […]