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Michael Barajas
staff writer covering civil rights , barajas@texasobserver.org
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Michael Barajas 12h
Janice Dotson-Stephens died in the same jail in December. She was kept in lockup for months on a criminal trespass charge despite her documented history of mental illness. Her family says she was effectively ignored to death
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Michael Barajas 12h
Jack Michael Ule, 63, died at the Bexar County jail today. He'd been there since April 4 on a criminal trespass charge, a class b misdemeanor. A $50 bond payment could've secured his release. Sheriff says he may have died from "ongoing health issues"
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Michael Barajas retweeted
Lauren McGaughy 14h
: Texas House committee passes prison heat bill — but rewrites it so it’s a cost study and doesn’t actually require units to be kept between 65 and 85 degrees. H/t to for texting me the new bill language. Our stories will be up soon.
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Grits4Breakfast 16h
My take on the kerfuffle between police unions, , and John Creuzot: It's all best viewed as performance art. And the entire cast hammed it up! Bravo!
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Michael Barajas 14h
The director of Harris Co's juvenile probation dept plans to convert one of the county's four youth lockups into an outpatient treatment center. He's one of several officials across the country pushing to close juvenile prisons
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Michael Barajas Apr 17
Now police unions have targeted Dallas' new DA over reforms he announced last week
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Michael Barajas Apr 17
Dallas DA fact-checking , who called his reforms socialism by theft Some bg on the reforms here, which range from dismissing certain drug cases to changing how the office handles crimes of poverty and homelessness
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Jolie McCullough Apr 16
In a vote split among party lines, Texas Senate approves a bill that says cities can't "ban the box," or keep employers from asking about criminal history
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Mike Hixenbaugh Apr 17
More from and : Grieving family members tour Pecan Park home as questions swirl about botched drug raid
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Kate Groetzinger Apr 16
To everyone who wants to know what's going on with the rape kit backlog - this article about 's HB 8, also known as the act, is my answer.
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Michael Barajas Apr 16
UT freshman loses military scholarship because he's a transgender man
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Keri Blakinger Apr 15
BREAKING Another drug case handled by the officers from the Pecan Park raid has been dismissed - and this time the defense attorney says she'd been telling prosecutors for months that police were lying.
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
A buuunch of elected judges are in the crowd for a panel tonight on building a public defenders office in Travis Co, which is *fascinating* considering not long ago they very much did not want to have this convo in public Some bg here
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
Also, after author said no to amendment that would expand voting access to college students, Menendez sarcastically quipped, “I am *shocked* that you’re voting against the young ppl of Texas Sen Hughes” lolll
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
Replying to @Menendez4Texas
Senate passes bill on first reading 19-12, also blocks an amendment by to expand access to voting on college campuses, which btw has been a problem
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
Replying to @KirkPWatson
Republicans in the TX senate just killed an amendment by that would've allowed for online voter registration, one of several measures Dems are pushing to make voting/registration more accessible in a state notorious for low voter turnout
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
Lawmakers are currently debating , an 'election integrity' bill that civil rights groups call a “dangerous new assault on voting rights in Texas" Some bg on the bill
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Alexa Ura Apr 15
In letter to House Redistricting Committee, 10 voting & civil rights orgs ask for several more interim hearings, including multiple in DFW metroplex & Harris Co. They note current plans "appears to largely mimic" the 2010 process, which court found was "inadequate."
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
The goal is preventing the kind of contempt-of-cop situation that led to Sandra Bland's roadside arrest. Last session police oppo killed a part of the Sandra Bland Act that would've done just that. The idea does seem to have more support this session tho
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Michael Barajas Apr 15
Police say they rarely arrest ppl over minor traffic violations but this report from indicates TX cops do it tens of thousands of times every year Today a TX house committee will hear a bill to limit those arrests
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