Alain Stephens

From Texas Standard:

Five seconds and 50,000 volts – that's enough of a jolt to hijack your nervous system and contract every muscle in your body. Applying electricity in this way has become the tool of choice for police officers across the country. We're talking about conducted electrical weapons, better-known as tasers. They've rapidly moved from an obscure police technology, into the public consciousness. They've been hailed by law enforcement as a life-saving tool. But some critics say that's far from the case.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

in 46 states, texting while driving is illegal. But not in Texas. It appears that could change on Tuesday. Though many cities in Texas ban using smartphones while driving, a bill is en route to the governor's desk that specifically outlaws texting while driving. But your apps and GPS might still be within legal reach.

Pat Jones Photography/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

It was May 17, 2015, shortly after noon in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. Little is known about what started it. Some say it was a fight over a parking space that led to a patron’s foot being run over. And suddenly in the mix – a flurry of gunfire.

Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

On Saturday, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards went to a party near Balch Springs, Texas. He didn’t make it home that night. Officer Roy Oliver of the Balch Springs Police Department was responding to the sound of gunshots at the party when he opened fire on a car, killing Edwards, who was a passenger.

The officer reported that the vehicle was moving toward him aggressively. Now the police department says video evidence contradicts the initial report.

ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas is one of six states that tries 17-year-olds as adults. But a new bill wants Texas to follow the national trend of raising the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18.

House Bill 122, authored by Reps. Harold Dutton Jr. (D-Houston) and Gene Wu (D-Houston), passed the House last week and could be on its way to the Senate.


Hourick/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

Many have expressed concern and outrage over the way police treat citizens, especially African-Americans and other minorities. The Black Lives Matter movement began in response to the deaths of African-Americans in police custody, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the arrest of Sandra Bland, who was later found dead in a Waller County jail, an apparent suicide.

Claudia8Felixx/Twitter

From Texas Standard:

The names of some of Mexico’s most infamous drug lords are well-known: Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Rafael Caro Quintero. Besides their profession and location, they have one other thing in common – they are all men. But those following the evolution of cartels in the country are noticing a demographic shift.

A portion of the south Texas border fence and remote surveillance cameras.
Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Government Work)

From Texas Standard:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said just yesterday that it is "unlikely" that a wall along the United States' southern border will be built in full. That’s different from the Trump administration's original proposed plans to build a continuous 30-foot wall, regardless of the terrain and other potential obstacles.

 

The SpaceX complex at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill VanderMolen/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a space shuttle filled with tourists? While that idea sounds like science fiction, the reality of sending tourists to space is right around the corner – at least if you believe Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. He recently announced that Blue Origin, his private space company, could begin flying private citizens to the edge of the atmosphere by next year.

MellieRene4/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Texas police are involved in a shooting – whether they shot the gun or not – they are mandated to report it to the attorney general’s office. But the legislator who sponsored the 2015 law acknowledges that it has no teeth. And one report has found that not all police departments are following the rules.

Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump renewed a campaign pledge Thursday to sign a bill that would alter an aspect of the divide between church and state that's been in place since 1954. At a prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C. he said he would “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.”

Some conservatives and religious organizations, among them evangelical Protestants which have been at the forefront in pushing for the amendment’s repeal, argue that the Johnson Amendment infringes on the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

dagnygromer/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard

A robbery turned fatal at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio on Sunday. The shooting has brought up questions about concealed carry and when it’s appropriate for people to intervene in such incidents.

Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Statistics of officer-involved shootings are scarce in Texas. But the investigations team at the Houston Chronicle has been examining the city's police force to get a handle on the numbers.

Michael Zanussi/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard

Over the last few months, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System has tanked, with reports saying the fund turned into a catastrophe after a string of bad real estate investments. To make matters worse, participants attempted to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars, forcing Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to take legal action to stop the bleed off. Now Rawlings is asking for  a full-blown criminal investigation led by the Texas Rangers.

Hannah McBride/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Miguel Navarro is 5’ 3’’ and small-framed. When reporters Alain Stephens and Hannah McBride speak to him, he’s in handcuffs and ankle restraints. He’s nervous and sweaty. His brown eyes well up with tears when they ask him about that night.

Courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum

From Texas Standard:

Adolf Hitler said "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it."

Many historians agree that one of Hitler's most dangerous weapons was his words. With the help of Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's words mobilized anger, anti-Semitism, homophobia and white supremacy, fueling a political machine that began one of the world's largest wars.

US Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

Outside of election year politics, few issues generate as much intense outrage – on both sides – as that of mandatory childhood vaccination.

According to the National Institute of Health, public concern about the adverse effects of vaccines has been part of our conversation since the first smallpox inoculation by Dr. Edward Jenner in 1796.

Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

After a series of bad gambles on real-estate investments and a history of mismanagement, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system has amassed $2 billion in liabilities. In a panic, employees have been pulling out their money – a move that could potentially bankrupt the city.

Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

On Jan. 4, 2016, 16-year-old David Molak killed himself. The San Antonio teen had undergone extensive cyberbullying.

DVIDSHUB/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Nearly one million military reservists have deployed around the world since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Pentagon's Defense Manpower Data Center. Many of those reservists and Guard members rely on receiving benefits under the GI Bill once they return from abroad.

Pages