Tag Archives: HPD

Last Astroworld wrongful death lawsuit set for September trial

We’ll see if there’s a settlement in this one at some point. The civil trial over the death of a 9-year-old boy killed at the 2021 Astroworld festival is scheduled to begin in September. Harris County 11th District Court Judge … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayor’s committee on HPD dropped cases provides its report

Up to Council and HPD to take action now. The independent panel reviewing the ongoing Houston Police Department scandal over suspended cases identified an interim police chief as the one who ordered the creation of the “SL” lack of personnel … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is this an opportunity for cooperative cost savings?

Reading through this story about how Harris County is spending the public safety portion of its 2022 bond funds, I have a question. New Harris County law enforcement facilities are one step closer to breaking ground after Commissioners Court earlier … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayor Whitmire unveils his first budget

Here ya go. Amid Houston’s strained financial outlook, Mayor John Whitmire unveiled a $6.7 billion budget proposal on Tuesday, announcing he does not intend to raise taxes or significantly cut city services during the fiscal year starting in July. The … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More on the Finner departure

That email was the final straw. After months of controversy surrounding the Houston Police Department’s practice of suspending cases due to short staffing, the revelation Tuesday that Chief Troy Finner was on an email discussing one such case in 2018 … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HPD Chief Finner retires

This came suddenly. Troy Finner has stepped down as chief of the Houston Police Department, Mayor John Whitmire announced in a late-night, four-paragraph email to city employees Tuesday. “I have accepted the retirement of Troy Finner as Chief of Police, … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All but one of the Astroworld wrongful death lawsuits have been settled

A big day in court yesterday. Nine of the 10 wrongful death lawsuits filed after a deadly crowd surge at the 2021 Astroworld music festival have been settled, including one that was set to go to trial this week, an … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Apple appeal delays Astroworld trial

This may take awhile. The start of the first civil trial stemming from the 2021 Astroworld Festival, at which 10 people were killed in a crowd surge, has been delayed. Jury selection had been set to begin Tuesday, May 7 … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On increasing ridership at Metro

I’m open to hearing more. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is under new leadership, but the goal of increasing ridership remains the same. While the number of riders steadily has increased across the system since the peak of … Continue reading

Posted in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Travis Scott remains in the Astroworld lawsuit

All of the motions to get out have been decided. A Harris County District Court judge denied rapper Travis Scott’s bid to be removed from the upcoming civil trial over the deaths and injuries that occurred at the 2021 Astroworld … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travis Scott makes his argument to get out of the Astroworld lawsuit

He has a reasonable case. Not saying I’d buy it, but it’s not ridiculous. Superstar rapper Travis Scott should not be held responsible for planning failures before the 2021 Astroworld tragedy or the delayed process of ending the show as … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

City workers gear up for their next contract

Believe it or not, the city has employees who are not with the police or the fire department, and they like earning a decent salary, too. Houston’s municipal employees union, HOPE AFSCME Local 123, is expected to begin its contract … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on City workers gear up for their next contract

Astroworld lawsuit update

Drake got himself removed as a defendant. A Harris County district court judge on Wednesday dismissed Drake from the sprawling civil lawsuit over the deadly Astroworld concert. The Canadian rapper was a guest performer at the November 2021 concert, appearing … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some of those dropped HPD cases were connected to other cases

Shocking, I know. Of the suspended sex crime incident reports submitted by the Houston Police Department to the Houston Forensic Science Center, nearly 100 came back with links to other cases, Chief Troy Finner said Monday evening. […] In HPD’s … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Some of those dropped HPD cases were connected to other cases

Travis Scott wants out of Astroworld lawsuit

I would too if I were him. Whether he should or he will is another matter. Houston-born rapper Travis Scott said he should not be held personally responsible for the deaths of 10 people who died in the crushing crowds … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Travis Scott wants out of Astroworld lawsuit

Some AstroWorld defendants try to get out

Lots going on here. Apple, Drake and other defendants targeted have asked a Harris County court to dismiss them from a sprawling lawsuit filed by victims of the 2021 Astroworld disaster. A flood of new motions and documents filed in … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Here’s your committee to investigate the HPD dropped cases situation

I wish them luck. Mayor John Whitmire on Wednesday named the five people who will run an independent investigation into the Houston Police Department’s handling of over 264,000 suspended incident reports. The committee will be led by a former state … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Here’s your committee to investigate the HPD dropped cases situation

In which I learn about our use of “Dataminr”

I have three things to say about this. The Houston Police Department will stay in the ranks of law enforcement agencies around the country using software to monitor social media for information on criminal activity following a City Council vote … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In which I learn about our use of “Dataminr”

More on the HPD dropped cases

Mayor Whitmire wants some answers. Houston Mayor John Whitmire on Wednesday called for an independent investigation into the Houston Police Department over how and why more than 264,000 cases were declared suspended for lack of personnel. “I trust and believe … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It’s budget cut proposal time

A familiar ritual. Facing a projected budget shortfall and costly settlement with the firefighters union, Mayor John Whitmire has directed most city departments to identify potential 5% budget cuts for the coming fiscal year. Finance Director Melissa Dubowski said Wednesday … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The HPD suspended cases situation

I don’t know what to make of this. A review of sex crimes cases suspended with an internal code citing a lack of personnel has expanded department-wide to include more than 264,000 cases, Police Chief Troy Finner said Monday. The … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

So what happened with the original Woodfill investigation?

Good question. Five years ago, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg appeared poised to prosecute Jared Woodfill, a prominent local attorney and Republican activist, for serious financial crimes. Ogg’s office received a judge’s permission to conduct a raid of his … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Yes, please do investigate Jared Woodfill

Is there a petition I can sign for this? A former client of Houston attorney and Texas House candidate Jared Woodfill is asking state and federal investigators to give fresh scrutiny to a 2017 investigation into allegations that he misappropriated … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On hiring more cops

Not as easy to do as you might think. Halfway through his inaugural speech, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the city made it far too hard for people to join the Houston Police Department. As an example, Whitmire pointed out … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mayor Whitmire wants to add Metro cops to HPD

On its face this makes sense. Mayor John Whitmire said he’s negotiating with Metro to combine its almost 400 public safety employees with Houston’s Police Department under Chief Troy Finner. The transit group’s police department, with a budget in 2024 … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chris Hollins begins his term as Controller

Lots of potential for action here. Houston Controller Chris Hollins knows that following Tuesday’s inaugural celebration comes the hard work. But the 37-year-old former Harris County Clerk says he is up to the task. “The people of Houston put (me) … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On solving the crimes

This is a nice profile of Precinct One Deputy Constable Joe Bowden, who is good at his job. His specialty is solving bike thefts, and I want to highlight this bit that shows him in action, and then share some … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A crime threefer

Houston on pace to post 20% decline in homicides in 2023 Houston’s homicide rate is down 20% compared to the year before, outpacing a historic decline in killings nationwide. The city logged 339 homicides thorough Dec. 18, down from 425 … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Cruise and Houston

An interesting overview of the currently-on-pause driverless taxi service in our town. The nationwide pause included Houston and Austin. However, no Texas or local entity required Cruise to take its vehicles off the road because they legally could not. Senate … Continue reading

Posted in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cruise and Houston

Crime continues to decline in Houston

Noted for the record. Don’t let it get in the way of any campaigns. Houston was part of a nationwide decline in most crime statistics in major cities, leading one crime data analyst to say the trend shows that it … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Houston-Area Crime Gun Intelligence Center

This sounds promising. When Houston-area law enforcement officers announced in September that they recovered 79 guns during an investigation into a group of suspected gang members, they had a pretty good idea of how those guns had been used — … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Houston-Area Crime Gun Intelligence Center

Travis Scott and the Apple contract

Gotta say, this doesn’t look great. Houston police investigating the 2021 Astroworld concert disaster determined that a contract between Travis Scott and Apple required him to finish his set in order to receive a $4.5 million payment, according to a … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Travis Scott and the Apple contract

HPD releases its official report on the AstroWorld tragedy

Read it and see for yourself. They looked like rag dolls, Reece Wheeler thought. One by one, the Astroworld Festival coordinator watched from the command center as unconscious Travis Scott fans’ were crowd-surfed out of the mosh pit and dumped … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on HPD releases its official report on the AstroWorld tragedy

Is ShotSpotter working?

This story would suggest the answer is No. Houston city leaders deployed the gunshot surveillance system ShotSpotter to strengthen police responses in neighborhoods where gunfire too often rings out. But three years into its deployment, crime statistics show the technology hasn’t made a … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is ShotSpotter working?