Travis County Family Violence Arrests

Here are the Family Violence arrest totals for Travis County by arresting agency for 2013 and 2014 as provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety:

   Agency Name    2013    2014
 --------------- ------  ------
 TC Sheriff       528     450
 Austin PD        7665    7030
 Manor PD         61      61
 Rollingwood PD   1       0
 UT Austin PD     13      9
 Pflugerville PD  89      109
 Lakeway PD       17      15
 Sunset Valley PD 3       2
 Lago Vista PD    45      77
 Jonestown PD     14      5
 Mustang Ridge PD 3       5
 Austin ISD PD    4       7
 Bee Cave PD      14      8
 Pflugerv ISD PD  0       4

Source: 2013 2014

Texas to Comply with P.R.E.A.

Former Governor Rick Perry refused to order the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to comply with with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.  This is particularly interesting since Perry himself faces potential prison time on felony corruption charges.

Recently, new Governor Greg Abbott reversed this policy and pledged to adopt the P.R.E.A. regulations in Texas prisons.  Last spring, Mr. Abbott was called to jury duty in Travis County Court at Law #4, a specialized court that handles assaults involving family or dating violence.  Most of my cases are in Court #4 since domestic violence is the focus of my practice.  Here is a picture of Mr. Abbot with Jesse Ibarra, the bailiff in CC4:

gov-jury-duty

APD Cop Charged with Murder

No word yet on whether  prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Police Body Cams and the Early Adopter Tax

Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, wants to spend $11,000,000 to outfit APD officers with body cameras by 2016.  Meanwhile, the police believe they can start by 2017 with only $2,000,000 and then spend and additional $5,000,000 in maintenance over the next 5 years.

Why would it be so much more expensive to get the cameras one year early?  Currently, the price is high because supply can’t keep up with demand.  In a few years these, as production capabilities expand, these camera will be had at commodity prices.  If APD does it Mayor Adler’s way then the city will pay the “Early Adopter Tax” for new technology.  Body Cam prices are so high that the Dallas Police Chief joked about quitting and becoming a Body Cam salesman to make more money.

Whenever the cameras are deployed, I believe the videos they provide will make it easier to defend people accused of domestic violence.  Many law enforcement officers just can’t resist the urge to write reports that twist and/or embellish the truth.  I understand that police officers feel the need to justify a warrantless arrest, but do they really need to pretend that one person is evil incarnate and the other is an innocent flower?  The truth usually helps the defense in assault cases.