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The Brief: Aug. 17, 2015

A funeral service was held for the Angelo State football player whose shooting by an Arlington police officer this month spurred national attention.

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The Big Conversation

Services were held over the weekend for Christian Taylor, the Angelo State football player whose shooting on Aug. 7 by an Arlington police officer has become the latest flash point in the national discussion on the treatment of blacks by police officers.

The funeral drew more than 1,200 people and, as The Dallas Morning News reported, the focus was on Taylor's faith, which those who knew him said had strengthened in recent months.

Loved ones at the service were also still trying to understand what led Taylor to break into a car dealership, vandalize one car and then crash his vehicle into the dealer's showroom. It was after that he was confronted by Officer Brad Miller, who shot Taylor multiple times. Miller was fired by the Arlington Police Department last week.

“People ask me, ‘Was it drugs, was it this, was it that?’ ” Joshua Taylor said at his brother’s funeral Saturday. “I say no matter what they say, I’m going to believe that was God.”

Meanwhile, the Austin American-Statesman published an analysis of DPS traffic stop data from Waller County, where the arrest of Sandra Bland and her subsequent death in the county jail made national headlines last month.

The paper's findings? Whites were slightly more likely to be let off with a warning than either blacks or Hispanics.

[B]etween 2010 and 2014, 67.4 percent of white motorists received a warning after being stopped by troopers, compared with 61 percent of black drivers and 48.5 percent of Hispanics stopped.

While the disparity between white and minority warning rates in Waller County is relatively small, it appears to be expanding. In 2014 the difference between white and black warning rates was the highest since 2010; 66.5 percent for whites to 53 percent for black motorists. In 2011, black and white motorists received warnings at nearly identical rates.

Trib Must-Reads

Analysis: Education Funding With a Judicial Assist, by Ross Ramsey — The Texas Supreme Court is about to hear the latest challenge to the state's financing of public schools. Maybe they'll throw it out, but history says otherwise: This almost always means changes in school policy and increases in taxes.

George P. Bush: Land Office Faces Internal "Threat", by Jim Malewitz and Neena Satija — A video of George P. Bush obtained by the Tribune highlights the rising political star’s unease about the the 179-year-old agency he inherited and his commitment to shake it up.

UT Delays Relocation of Jefferson Davis Statue, by Alexa Ura — Facing a temporary restraining order, the University of Texas at Austin will delay its plan to relocate the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

Capitol Fire Suspect to Go Before Iowa Judge, by Terri Langford — A man arrested in Iowa who is suspected of setting fire to a car last week at the Texas Capitol is expected to appear before a judge on Friday.

Today's 31 Days, 31 Ways Story

Parents to Be Guaranteed Right to Bury Stillborn Babies, by Sophia Bollag — Moved by the story of an Amarillo family, legislators passed a new law that will guarantee parents the right to the remains of their stillborn children.

Process of Getting Mail-In Ballots Poised to Simplify, by Patrick Svitek — Texas is streamlining the process by which the disabled and elderly receive annual mail-in ballots.

Emergency Centers to Be Included in "Baby Moses" Law, by Aman Batheja — A new state law adds freestanding emergency centers to the list of places a person can legally abandon a newborn and avoid prosecution.


Court ruling another blow to state Medicaid regulators, Austin American-Statesman

Trade groups asking ethics panel to water down contract disclosure law, San Antonio Express-News

Houston Community College has spent $35 million on land it's no longer planning to use, Houston Chronicle

Ebola crisis was not a financial crisis for Dallas area taxpayers, The Dallas Morning News

Patent cases flood East Texas courts, Houston Chronicle

Trial begins Monday for former CPRIT executive, Austin American-Statesman

Garcia: McClendon faces possible challenge from former mayoral aide, San Antonio Express-News

Pro-Bush super PAC spending $10M-plus on initial TV campaign, The Associated Press

Clinton hoping to take Texas by storm, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale, The New York Times

High beef prices fueling rustling revival in Plains states, The Associated Press

Clemency: The issue that Obama and the Koch brothers actually agree on, The Washington Post

Quote to Note

"I’ve been written off, wrote off and all kinds of things. I told somebody, I said, ‘It took me 16 years to get my wife to marry me’. So I’m a ‘stick-to-it-itive’ guy."

— GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry, suggesting in a speech last week to South Carolina supporters that he will persist despite the money troubles dogging his campaign 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•      The Texas Tribune's Trivia Night on Aug. 30 in Austin 

•      A Conversation with Austin Mayor Steve Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor on Sept. 4 in Austin

•      A Conversation on The Road from Hurricane Rita on Sept. 22 in Beaumont

•      The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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