Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood

My wife pointed out the following post on some local community website for our neighborhood. Now first I have to set the table for what you're about to read.

We live in a part of Houston called Spring Branch. It's on the westside of town between the Loop and the Beltway. Inside the area are a series of bedroom communities filled with rich white folk who would swear up and down they aren't racist but they want to make sure their kids go to the white "right" schools. We live in an older area with some wealthy teabaggers, "middle class" families and working class folks. As Spring Branch has gotten "less white" over the past 30 years, those on the right end of the political spectrum have move further to the right in their futile attempt to return the area to some mythic state in the past.

Having said that, I like the area. It's a mix of industrial, business and residential. You can find just about any kind of cuisine you want and there's is still green space around.

Now you can read the post:
The Kerrwood Watch got another one yesterday. Spring Valley police chased a vehicle until it t-boned another vehicle on Hammerly. 
Black male driver then eluded police on foot in an apartment complex by the lake, hopped the fence along McKean, crossed the ditch, and made a VERY wrong turn down Kerrwood.  
His mistake was solidified by walking across yards with "No Tresspassing" signs. Kerrwood's telephone tree was activated and neighbors came out with guns. 
Bad guy runs across a back yard, hops another fence and tries hiding under a truck. 
When police learned that neighbors armed with guns were after their suspect, the police presence went from 2 to 15 in a matter of minutes. Police then took over. 
The bad guy resisted police, was Tasered, and hauled off. 
It's nice living on a crime-free street. Chalk up another Kerrwood success in keeping it that way!
For the uninitiated, Spring Valley is one of these bedroom communities I mentioned before. If you've been reading this blog for a while you would have come across a couple of posts I've written about how the Spring Valley police and courts operate. If you want a good laugh, go to a court session and ask for a show of hands of anyone who's a resident of Spring Valley. It's a good bet you won't see many hands.

Spring Valley is located (mostly) between I-10 and Westview (the first major east-west thoroughfare in Spring Branch north of the freeway. We live a good couple of miles from the boundary. So my first question is why a Spring Valley police officer was chasing a motorist so far from home? The police from Spring Valley have no business being on Hammerly - they certainly have no business engaging in a chase.

I have no idea why the motorist didn't stop in Spring Valley. I'm sure he stood out while driving - as do most of the non-white defendants you will see in municipal court. The accident wouldn't have occurred had someone's testosterone not gotten the better of him. But I suppose that's just a little detail our storyteller decided to overlook.

Of course the writer must make a point of the driver in question being black. What better way to conjure up fear in the locals than tell them a black man was running down their street.

Then we get the formation of the posse. George Zimmerman must have been proud. Nothing like a bunch of scared white folks running around with guns looking for a black man. I don't know if they were wearing their hoods or not.

And of course the police descended en masse. With a bunch of lunatics carrying guns chasing someone (with no evidence that the "bad guy" had even done anything wrong), there needed to be some voice of sanity - and I suppose this time it was HPD who provided that voice. And, if you've lived in Houston for a while, you know that's a scary thought.

These gun-loving vigilantes are the same folks who sit on our jury panels and decide whether our clients' liberty should be infringed upon. Don't even kid yourself about their acceptance of the notion that a defendant is innocent unless proven otherwise - your client is guilty the minute they see him sitting next to you at the table.

Yep, these are my neighbors.

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