Skip to main content

The Brief: Convictions Remain Rare When Police Shoot

As national scrutiny of police shootings remains intense, prosecutions of Texas police officers who use lethal force remain a rare occurrence.

Lead image for this article

The Big Conversation

As national scrutiny of police shootings remains intense, prosecutions of Texas police officers who use lethal force remain a rare occurrence.

The Texas Tribune's Unholstered project analyzed data from the state’s 36 largest cities and found that at least 881 officers were involved in police shootings.

Seven officers have faced criminal charges for pulling the trigger in that period. None have been convicted, so far. In most cases, investigators and grand juries determine that officers were justified in using their weapons.

The series also looks for answers to other questions surrounding police use of deadly force, such as whether minorities are more likely to be shot and situations when the individual is unarmed or when the officer is off duty.

Trib Must Reads

Analysis: Hot at the Top of the 2016 Texas Ballot, Cool at the Bottom, by Ross Ramsey — That big political race on the surface hides a very quiet state ballot down below. In fact, a surprising number of the members of the Legislature and of the Texas delegation to Congress face no major-party opposition in November.

Texas Appealing Judge's Dismissal of Lawsuit over Syrian Refugees, by Alexa Ura — Texas is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit against the federal government and a refugee resettlement agency over the placement of Syrian refugees in the state.

Texas Working With Truckers in Fight Against Human Trafficking, by Nicole Cobler — During a visit to San Antonio on Thursday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton discussed a partnership with truck drivers in the state's efforts to combat human trafficking. 

After Speech, Trump Loses Key Texas Hispanic Backer, by Patrick Svitek — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has lost a key Hispanic supporter in Texas after his speech Wednesday night on immigration.


(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Bush ambassador to Mexico: Trump not suited to be commander in chief, The Hill 

Inspired by SXSW, White House to host South by South Lawn eventAustin American-Statesman 

Exxon Mobil drops tax-assessment lawsuit against HCAD, Houston Chronicle 

At the height of his fame, Dallas Police Chief David Brown decides to pack it in, The Dallas Morning News

Cruz: Why Are We Giving Money to Iran?, National Review 

Kennedy: Dallas pastor helped McCain, but Trump ‘was not going to listen’, Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

Baker Hughes cuts employee pay 5 percent through furloughs, Houston Chronicle 

Texas braces for budget cuts as economy, Medicaid, spending decisions collideThe Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"My culture is a very dominant culture. It is imposing, and it's causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you're going to have taco trucks on every corner."

Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump

News From Home

•    The Texas Tribune wants you to join our Reddit chat and ask us your questions about police shootings in Texas. Join former police chief Howard Williams and the Tribune for a live Reddit discussion about Texas police shootings this Friday at 1 p.m. CDT.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    San Antonio & the Legislature: The Election and Beyond on Sept. 14 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

•   The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

•   The Washington Post's Politics & Pints with Chris Cillizza: TTF Edition on Sept. 24 at Scholz Garten

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics