The Big Conversation
The family of Sandra Bland, a black woman who was arrested at a traffic stop in Texas then found dead in a Waller County Jail cell, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.9 million and the promise of “several changes” to jail procedures, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.
Bland was arrested on July 10, 2015, by former Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia for failing to properly signal a lane change. However, the circumstances of Bland’s arrest, captured on dashcam video, spurred a national debate over police brutality and racial discrimination. Bland, whose death was ruled a suicide, was found hanged in her cell three days after her arrest although she said that she was not feeling suicidal upon entering jail.
As the Tribune’s Johnathan Silver reports, the settlement was supposed to remain confidential until finalized. Waller County Attorney Larry Simmons told the Tribune in a statement Thursday that "the parties are still working through a few details” and “the potential settlement must be approved by the Waller County Commissioner’s Court, which has not yet occurred."
Family attorney Cannon Lambert said Bland’s mother was pleased with the settlement, "particularly because of the non-economic components." He adds, "the case is settled in its entirety. ... This is the beginning, not the end."
Trib Must Reads
Ted Poe on Fight Against Leukemia: Attitude as Important as Treatment, by Abby Livingston — "I feel real good," says U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, who was diagnosed with leukemia this summer. He talked with the Tribune about his battle and the support system he has enjoyed over the last couple of months.
Texas Budget Writers Hear Concerns Over Medicaid Therapy Cuts, by Edgar Walter — Cuts in the state's payments to therapy providers who see children with disabilities remain tied up in court, but Texas officials said Thursday they have made about $58 million in cuts from other parts of the health care budget.
Lawsuit Backed by Ken Paxton Could Spell Trouble for 21 Texas School Districts, by Kiah Collier and Nicole Cobler — Months after releasing an opinion saying it could be illegal for school districts to reduce or repeal their local option homestead exemptions, Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately intervened in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The Daily Show Visits Texas to Cover Campus Carry Dildo Protest, by Bobby Blanchard — The Daily Show, Comedy Central's satirical news program, visited the University of Texas at Austin to cover the eye-popping protest of the state's campus carry law.
Abbott Expresses Caution on High-Speed Rail, by Patrick Svitek — Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expressed caution about high-speed rail in Texas, warning that any investment in transportation must not be a "money-losing proposition."
Abbott Says He's Fully Behind Trump, Hopes for Double-Digit Win in Texas, by Patrick Svitek — Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing back against the suggestion that his support for Donald Trump is lukewarm, saying "of course" he is all in for the Republican presidential nominee — and that he hopes Trump wins Texas by double digits.
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Glenn Beck's bad bet on Ted Cruz, Politico
Dallas ISD orders water testing for lead at all schools, The Dallas Morning News
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'Emergency leave' cost Texas taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, auditor's report shows, The Dallas Morning News
Trump and Clinton in tight race in Texas, new poll says, Austin American-Statesman
White House enlists Houston businessman in refugee battle, Houston Chronicle
Quote to Note
"Trump is stepping up and doing what Texans are asking for, and that is securing the border. I think Trump understands the necessity and the ways that we can reduce regulations."
— Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday, emphasizing that he fully supports the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump
Today in TribTalk
Military gear for Texas agencies blurs line between watchman, warfighter, by Michael Haugen — Surplus or obsolete military gear is being transferred to law enforcement agencies nationwide — and some of Texas' acquisitions raise eyebrows.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation with Pete Gallego, Candidate for Congressional District 23 on Sept. 22 at The Austin Club
• 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
• The Texas Response To Zika on Oct. 18 at BCBSTX Headquarters in Richardson
• A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville