Author Meagan Flynn

rincon_final_rgb_cropped_for_homepageCameron K. Lewis

Valentina Villafane was sitting in her second-grade classroom when the tear gas canister exploded. The principal of her private school outside Barquisimeto, Venezuela, saw it first — an errant volley from a national guardsman that flew between the bars of the school’s gate and rolled to the front door. The principal shouted for the students to run to the back of the building as gas plumed at the entrance.

As Valentina huddled with her classmates, teachers brought jars of vinegar from the cafeteria and showed the children how to apply it to their faces to protect against the gas. They waited for hours, trapped as desperate Barquisimetanos clashed with police outside.

“I was scared and I almost cried,” Valentina recalls in a telephone interview from Venezuela–where many live in dire poverty while the corrupt businessman who looted the country live lavishly in Houston and Miami.

hpdmethcopHPD

It had to be one no good very bad day for the Houston police officer who got arrested by members of his own police force earlier this month.

James D. Norman, who has been with the Houston Police Department just over three years, was arrested and charged with possession of between four and 400 grams of meth on April 4. He was immediately relieved of duty, with pay, pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, said HPD spokesman John Cannon.

439618212_a3feb4fa63_b_1_Robert Nelson/Flickr

Two Clear Brook High School students were arrested Thursday after threatening to shoot up the school—on the 18th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

Just as school was starting, around 7:20 a.m., the teens were pulled out of class. And by 8:45 a.m. they were arrested by the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. One of the teens had told several students not to come to school Thursday because at 10:30 he was “going to honor his heroes, the ‘Columbine Shooters,'” according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which is reviewing charges. The teen had posted a photo on social media showing himself pointing a pistol at two schoolmates in the hallway.

unnamed_7_HPD

Just after the Houston Police Department announced its largest kush bust yet, the Harris County Attorney’s Office is at it again with another lawsuit filed against an unrelated Alief smoke shop slinging the synthetic drug under the counter.

The county has won a restraining order against Smoke & Tote Shop on Bissonnet, blocking the shop from selling kush, after various Houston police investigations yielded arrests from October to February. Here’s how both busts went down.

pimphcHarris County District Attorney's Office

A Baytown father has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for pimping his 16-year-old daughter at truck stops in the area, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Scott Robinson, 46, pleaded guilty to aggravated compelling of prostitution after the Houston Child Exploitation Task Force — comprising HPD Vice Division officers and the FBI — nabbed him in an undercover investigation in June 2015.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 8.37.31 AMSomething unusual caught the attention of a Harris County Precinct 1 monitoring surveillance video of a popular illegal trash dumping site on Thursday — a man beating a child with a belt.

For five minutes, the man struck the boy with a belt at least 62 times in the head, shoulders, legs and buttocks, deputies said. Some of the blows knocked the seven-year-old to the ground. The man held the boy upright, like a rag doll, by holding the child with one hand while swinging the belt with the other.

drb2Screenshot/Diagnosed TV show

The Texas Medical Board’s legal staff on Wednesday issued a proposed order that would place controversial cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski on probation and force him to pay $360,000 in penalties and more than $20,000 in restitution for violating standards of care in his treatment of patients between 2009 and 2013.

The proposed order, which will be voted on March 3, claims that Burzynski aided and abetted the unlicensed practice of medicine; failed to obtain informed consent; and failed to maintain adequate patient records. It also alleges that Burzynski also failed to disclose his ownership interest in the pharmacy located inside his clinic’s building. Burznski had been treating terminally ill cancer patients for 40 years.

8673156388_9d34806c0e_z (1)Miranda Nelson/Flickr

District Attorney Kim Ogg and heads of local law enforcement announced Thursday that, starting March 1, all police agencies in Harris County will no longer arrest people caught with four ounces or less of marijuana, and the DA’s office will no longer be prosecuting those cases.

The remarkable move, which Ogg had championed throughout her 2016 campaign, pushes the third largest county in the nation to the forefront of marijuana reform in places where it is still illegal. Harris County will join only the Brooklyn County District Attorney’s Office in New York in choosing to divert misdemeanor marijuana defendants away from jail entirely, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and saving thousands of people the lifelong burden of a criminal record. Here are the details.

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