Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

February 18, 2014

Racial profiling reports given by HCSO, APD

Athens — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and Athens Police Department have filed 2013 racial-profiling reports with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, showing traffic stops that line up closely with the racial makeup of their jurisdictions.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires that all law-enforcement agencies report racial-profiling data to TCOLE, as well as their governing body. The HCSO presented its report to the Commissioners Court last week, while APD submitted its document to the city council.

Each law-enforcement agency is required to enact a policy defining the acts that constitute racial profiling, and prohibits those acts. They also must implement a process by which a person can file a complaint, and provide corrective action against a peace officer who is investigated, and found to have violated the rules.

HCSO Maj. Botie Hillhouse said the department has not had a racial profiling complaint since Sheriff Ray Nutt took office. In 2013, Caucasians accounted for roughly 90 percent of the vehicle stops. The percentage of Caucasian stops is larger than the percentage of Caucasians in the general population of the county, where Caucasians make up 82 percent, Hispanic 9.6 percent and African-American 6.4 percent.

Because the Sheriff’s Office equips its vehicles with video cameras, they get a partial exemption from TCLEOSE, and are not required to submit a full report, which requires a much more detailed account of the traffic stops.

For a normal traffic stop, the recordings are kept for 90 days. If the stop is involved in a case, the recordings are kept longer than that. That way, if there’s a complaint, HCSO has a place to go back and look.

According to its report, the HCSO made 698 motor-vehicle stops in 2013. Caucasian drivers accounted for 629 of the stops, followed by 29 Hispanic and 39 African-American.

In addition, one of the drivers was of middle-eastern ethnic background. The officers did not know the race of the driver in 642 of the cases.

HCSO deputies issued citations in 605 of the stops, and made arrests on 92 other occasions. There were 63 searches reported, of which 58 were conducted with the driver’s consent.

The Athens Police Department has not had a racial-profiling complaint against the department in several years. The APD also has video cameras in its patrol vehicles. The APD reported 1,375 stops in 2013. Of those drivers, 731 were Caucasian, 351 Hispanic and 286 African-American. APD also initiated stops on seven Asian drivers.

The report states that APD officers were not aware of the ethnicity of the driver in 1,177 of the stops.  The stops resulted in 1,195 citations, 68 in which only an arrest occurred, and 114 that produced both a citation and arrest.

Caucasians account for about 54 percent of the city’s population, with Hispanics making up 26.7 percent and African-American 17.4 percent.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing

    Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
    By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 drugs.tif Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26

    On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?

    Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Hot issue

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Surplus property to be moved or demolished

    Athens Independent School District purchased property at 404 Royall Street during its March school board meeting with the intent to square off property previously purchased by the district.
    During Thursday's school board meeting, a unanimous decision was made to designate the property as surplus and advertise the home to be moved or demolished.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0077.JPG Taste of Home Cooking School

    The Taste of Home Cooking School was held Thursday at the Cain Center. Hundreds attended the events that was sponsored by Cole A/C and the Athens Daily Review.
     

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif City, AMWA differ on future management of water supply

    The 57-year relationship between the Athens Municipal Water Authority and the City of Athens grew stormy in 2013 because of a disagreement over who should pay certain bills.
    The difference-of-opinion led to the Authority filing suit against the city last December, and the city responding by setting the wheels in motion that slated a May 10 election to decide whether to abolish AMWA.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 Easter.jpg Excited and ready

    Lexie and Isabella Hawkins are excited and ready for the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park.  Bicycles, rabbits and lots of Easter Eggs will be waiting for you. Everyone is welcome, and of course the Easter Bunny will be there.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo