Monday, October 05, 2015

Some TX law enforcement not reporting shootings to AG

Thanks to diligent investigation by both the Washington Post and the Guardian, Grits must update the previous report on officer involved shootings in Texas from September. There were seven reported to the Texas Attorney General, as now required under a new statute, but four others reported by the Guardian and the Washington Post were not reported to the AG.

So Grits wanted to add links to information about these additional shootings to provide a more complete picture. In the meantime, the Attorney General should contact police agencies, especially these four, with a reminder that the new reporting is now required for all shootings.

Here are the Texas police shootings in September that the AG never heard about:

September 4th: Sully Lanier, 36 year old white male, shot to death by Parker County Sheriff's officers in Springtown, after he ran at them firing a weapon, as reported by WFAA.

September 21st: Up in Paris, an unarmed man, Steven McKenney, sitting on a concrete barrier by the highway was approached by a DPS trooper on a welfare check and ended up tased and then shot to death. Combined with those reported earlier, this makes three separate episodes on this day.

September 23rd: In McKinney, a 35 year old white male, Joseph Khammash, was shot to death after an altercation with police related to a domestic dispute. According to press reports he was armed and holding his own family, his ex-wife and a child, against their will in a van.

September 27th: According to news reports, an armed Ponder man, Victor Coronado-Martinez, was shot and killed by police after they responded to a shots fired call. Coronado-Martinez shot at the officer and the officer returned fire, killing him, police said.

So, it appears that, in the first month of public reporting, police agencies understated shooting deaths by at least 36% (assuming there were no other unreported shootings).

Eleven shootings in September, not seven. Just having accurate data on this topic will fundamentally alter the terms of debate. More people are being shot by police in Texas than anyone was aware, even those paying closest attention.

MORE: From the Houston Chronicle.

RELATED: Seven in September: First look at officer-involved shooting reports reveals incidents which escaped media attention.

UPDATE: The Parker County Sheriff filed their shooting report the day after this blog post appeared.


Jardinero1 said...

There about ninety homicides a month in Texas by the 27,000,000 citizens of Texas. There are 11 homicides a month by the 55,000 law enforcement officers in Texas. You are vastly more likely to be killed in a single encounter with an LEO than with any citizen.

Shannon E. said...

If you read the bill, it says an agency has 30 days to report a shooting to the AG. That might be important to note.

sunray's wench said...

Out of those 11, it looks like roughly half were killings of unarmed individuals. If the police were also unarmed, then those individuals would almost certainly still be alive. If you only send in armed police to incidents where the individual is armed, less people get killed. And if a policeman doesn't have a gun on him, it can't then be used against him.

Radical, I know, but it works in other places.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Good point, Shannon, Parker county is the only one so far to have actually blown the deadline.

john said...

They're just slow, because they're busy? They're not covering it up? As long as there is oversight, we MIGHT be able to sleep at night.
In general, there is no war against the cops; it in fact has always been the other way around—notably cops kill blacks, but since the NRA scared politicians so badly they had to militarize the cops (or make up your own reason), now the killing is spreading across all lines. Lack of honest oversight, where government employees honor their oaths, has FOREVER been the problem.
The temporary solution is filming the cops, always.
So what we end up with is not being easily able to TRUST THE COPS, gov, etc. We FEAR. The COPS are caught in the middle, between We The Poor People they were to protect and serve, and those who pay the cops, i.e., the bureaucracy of politicians, gov jackoffs and whoever. SO the cops are put more at risk than ever, for sure.
Yet many gun owners and Americans have spoken out THEY ARE on the side of the cops. Most Americans do not consider the cops an enemy, and would never attack. PLUS, we've been brainwashed our whole lives to not resist, under drastic threat of AT LEAST imprisonment and probably being hunted down.
Filming cops is likely THEIR threat of punishment—because there could be oversight!—instead of just the usual paid administrative leave.
That makes cops are relatively safe, at least from stabs in the back (although when it comes to their politician/bureaucrat owners, cops must watch their backs).
IF ONLY voters & citizens could feel safe from back-stabs!!! I'm not sure the Electronic Voting Machines (combined with the mainstream media brainwashing) really lets The People oversee their politicians, cops, etc.--most of whom are unelected and unaccounted.
Therefore, it's another strong call for the need for elected County Sheriffs!! Those are the REAL law enforcement guys, not the Exec. Branch bureaucrat A.G. and so on, and not even the State police-now-DPS-or-what, IF THEY have no elected component.
If citizens will not get involved, perpetually awaiting nanny to do it for them, I suppose they forfeit their say in their own government.
Blah blah blah, still: I FEAR FOR MY LIFE, from cops.

Anonymous said...

I live in Parker County - they don't exactly do anything according to the law out here.

Anonymous said...

30 days to get all of their shit together. Sounds like someone slipped in a loophole or, more than likely, a bunch of someones didn't take time to actually read the bill prior to making it a law. Note that.

Anonymous said...

Is it time for a Law Enforcement Gun Control Law? Andy controlled Barney's gun via issuing one bullet after deciding he just couldn't control it. When Barn shot his only bullet into the floor, he simply patrolled bullet-less until Andy felt like he could control his gun.

IF, rookies (first two years) were issued: tasers, bean-bag guns, pepper spray, baton & first-aid kit and stayed with the cruiser while a senior officer armed with both lethal and non-lethal items performed civic duties (while in constant radio contact), unnecessary shootings of people, pets and stuff just might go down. Then, IF, any senior officer shoots an unarmed person, he/she would be directly responsible and charged with a crime. Sadly, in order for this to happen, hell would have to freeze.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect many to understand this view:

The common demoninator in almost all police shootings is non-compliance with the law generally followed by a confrontation (not to be confused with first contact) initiated by a suspect (citizen, etc). At any given time, the suspect (etc.) sets the tone by either compliance or non-compliance. Police usually get a call of some sort or observe a violation (both usually involve non-compliance or suspected non-compliance of the law). Then an encounter occurs with the tone set by the suspect (etc.). Mental health issues further complicate matters as police are expected to be mental health experts when many practitioners (MD & Ph.D.) can't get it right.

A suspect (etc.) being unarmed has some, but not a complete bearing on how matters are handled by police. Most police agencies have a use of force continuum that generally state police use one level higher than the suspect (etc.). However, an unarmed suspect (person, citizen, etc.) still has two hands and feet that can and often do overpower a police officer. In prison, convicts have nothing but time to work out or read so in many instances convicts are in better shape than an officer working shift work. Therefore it is unreasonable to expect an officer to go toe-to-toe with a suspect (etc.) without following a use of force continuum. As stated above, I expect few to understand a reasonable view.

Anonymous said...

Grits & 8:53pm - it would appear that some of the cited examples were most likely suicide-by-cop. A homicide true, but the will of the subject that likely could not have been changed except by possibly better parenting and/or mental health diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:26

Understand a UOF continuum reasonably well so here's the issue. Officers have the ability to use hard techniques to gain control as well as using blunt instruments, OC or Tasers prior to advancing to lethal force when individuals are unarmed but officers have a bad habit of jumping to lethal force when they in fact set up the scenario to do so. Shooting a wheelchair bound individual in their house not armed with a gun isn't just inappropriate, it is all but murder. Approaching a wheelchair suspect with a potential weapon instead of taking cover and addressing the suspect while protected is another example of stupidity. Bum-rushing a suspect that has pulled over instead of completing a felony car stop as trained only to mistake a cell phone for a weapon is felony stupid. Try the murder of a 12 year-old playing in...wait for it... a playground by inappropriate handling of their cruiser is one more example. Won't even go into shooting into cars and trucks while claiming the officer's life was "threatened".

It's the continual misuse of their weapons while justifying it thru the abuse of a UOF continuum to excuse it that upsets people.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:22,

"'Forced to Fire': Fatal shootings by police around the US are being ruled suicides. Are officers avoiding scrutiny, or just being used as weapons?"

Anonymous said...

Grits, over at Fault Lines, this is in the comment section of a Post not worth putting here due to it being nothing more than dirt (or in my opoinon he's just commenting about this GFB posting with cookie cutter excuses and explanations he learned at the seminar). And if you read it, you'll see why Noxx was the only one to comment.

6 October 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply
Grits For Breakfast has an article on the failure of some departments in TX to report. Cannot seem to paste the link, but easy enough to find

Greg Prickett
6 October 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply
Scott Henson sometimes has a tendency to jump the gun, so to speak. As I note above, and as Shannon E. notes in the comments at Scott’s blog, the agencies have 30 days to report, and then the AG has 5 more days to post it.

Unless he has talked to Parker County, he has no way of knowing if the report was submitted in a timely manner. It is likely he is correct, but it’s poor journalism, because if he had talked to the Parker County SO, he should have said so. In any event, from public information, we won’t know that the information is late until October 9th. I’ve sent the PIO a question on it, but haven’t yet received a response.

The link is Some TX law enforcement not reporting shootings to AG at Grits for Breakfast.

sunray's wench said...

Anon 6.20 ~ what a patronising view you have of others.

I like the idea of probationary officers not being given firearms for their first 2 years of service - but why stop there? Why not just have senior officers that are armed and other officers are not.