A Defense of Crime Stoppers

Reading the New York Times describe Kim Ogg Harris County District Attorney (a LGBTQ elected official in nation’s most diverse metroplex) as a “conservative democrat” to facilitate its attack on Houston’s Crime Stoppers organization exemplifies how new era journalism places narrative over everything including truth and public safety. 

I like St. John Barned-Smith, I have had him on my radio show. I do not know and never interacted with Crime Stoppers of Houston director Rania Mankarious. Andy Kahan and I had one FB conversation a long time ago. But I do know that St. John’s characterization of their push for accountability in his Houston Chronicle article attempting to tear down Crime Stoppers and his portrait of Andy and Crime Stoppers , including the quotes from the rabidly partisan Gene Wu, the embroiled in criminal scandal Lina Hidalgo, and the attempt to portray this issue as non-local with the quote from Ames Grawert or the absurdist discounting of the humanity of crime that suggests we need to big picture murder by the County’s Chief Public Defender combined with his dredging of a 2013 zealous effort by Andy to keep a monster in prison all read like a biased hit piece painting a portrait of a partisan organization. But nowhere do I see the suggestion by the Houston Chronicle that Crime Stoppers is trying to get Republicans elected. 

Instead, there is a dishonest effort to unfairly portray some Houston Democrats as conservative by both papers to create the appearance of partisanship instead of the actual effort of demanding accountability from elected and public officials in an attempt to protect this city as crime spirals out of control from a clear effort to minimize citizen expectations of governmental response to victim crime. I say this as a criminal defense attorney who recognizes what many do not, Texas provides those arrested with a far more robust right to bond than many States and US citizens have generally because the Texas Constitution guarantees it expressly. That does not mean courts can’t implement measures to better insure both victims and society are far more protected from the monsters who are using the revolving jailhouse door as a mechanism to facilitate terror. 

The fact that our major local paper and the USA’s Gray Lady are dedicating so much energy to trying to tear down an organization that has done so much to protect Houston and to destroy the image of people who have dedicated their lives to victims and public safety is absolutely despicable. It’s disgusting. It’s unfair. It’s gross. 

I say this as someone who has long taken issue with the bounty Crime Stoppers has given students for reporting others students for drugs in our schools. I think that led to great harm. But that speaks to ill advised failed Drug War and the way we police children not Crime Stoppers. I would, obviously, prefer the focus to be solely on victim crime. But Crime Stoppers has done so very much to solve/thwart horrifying crime in a city beset by murder, rape, robbery and drunk driving. And during this horrifying spike in violent crime, in an era of delayed or no response to calls for police service by citizens, the terrible reality of accused violent criminals committing more violent crimes, fearful citizens and brazen corruption by elected officials and Party leaders, you would think that destroying a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on public safety would be last on a long list of stories requiring the attention of crime reporters. But you have to consider new journalistic standards of not reporting crime to refrain from “perpetuating false narratives” that is truly just an effort to facilitate agendas and progressive narratives. 

These newspapers should be focused on accurate crime reporting and need to change policing policy paradigmatically to focus exclusively on victim and public safety, but instead we get hit pieces on an organization desperately trying to help stem tide of crime and more lectures on need to limit lawful gun ownership nationally to stop crime being committed by criminals who possess firearms illegally with huge heaping side orders of condescension about nonexistent holistic privileges and the need to pay more in taxes but expect less from our governments. 

This clearly orchestrated attack by local Progressives who are witnessing the first dose of political and criminal accountability in an effort to provide a smokescreen by scapegoating those seeking to protect this community is so transparent it’s awful. Shame on all who participated in this. Shame on our County Judge and Commissioners who are still quietly seeking to reduce public safety services in our community. And let me be clear, I do not write this seeking the awful Harris County GOP to obtain power. Both Parties have absolutely failed Houston. But Crime Stoppers has not. And effort by the The New York Times to falsely demonize Kim K Ogg as a conservative only makes it clear that the agenda is far Left progressivism over everything, including the safety of the children of Houston.

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