The Darsch Report: June 28 to July 4

Protester Sues San Antonio

Alexander Lance, along with three of his friends, is suing the city of San Antonio over claims that a police officer used excessive force during one of last year’s protests in downtown San Antonio following the murder of George Floyd.

Following a protest on May 30, Lance spent three days in a hospital for injuries caused by a pair of paint bullets, according to the lawsuit.. Lance and his two friends reportedly went to “witness the march.”

According to the suit, Lance told a San Antonio Police Department officer “that the rifle he was carrying better have the safety on.” The officer then allegedly shot Lance twice with paint bullets, once in the arm and once in the leg. 

Other officers then allegedly rushed toward him following the shooting “Not to provide medical attention to the badly injured plaintiff but to surround (the officer) and use flashlights in an attempt to blind the cell phones of other citizens recording the aggravated assault.”

He accused both the city of being “deliberately indifferent” to treat his injuries and the officers of negligence. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and mental injury.

Allen West Announces Bid for Texas Governor

On July 4th, former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West declared that he is running for Texas Governor. 

A former U.S. congressman from Florida and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, West made the announcement in a short video shown to a congregation at Sojourn Church in Carrollton, Texas.

“I’ve not been in elected political office for about a decade, but I can no longer sit on the sidelines and see what has happened in these United States of America and … the place that I call home,” West said in the video. West also read aloud the Declaration of Independence to the churchgoers. 

About a month before making this announcement, West resigned as state party chairman. The resignation is effective July 11, when the State Republican Executive Committee is set to meet to pick West’s successor.

Despite making frequent remarks criticizing Governor Greg Abbott, West did not directly mention Abbott in his remarks Sunday in the church or in the video. West used the video to sketch out a platform focused on shielding the state’s energy resources against the Green New Deal, securing the state’s southern border “to ensure that Texas is for Texans” and combatting sex trafficking.

Other possible gubernatorial candidates include actor Matthew McConaughey and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

California Recall Election

After the Gavin Newsom recall petition cleared the remaining procedural hurdles Thursday, California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis announced recall election day would be Sept. 14.

The recall election ballot will have two questions. The first question will be something along the lines of, “Should Gavin Newsom be recalled?” and the second question will then ask voters to pick a candidate to replace Newsom.

The date is earlier than expected, as many early plans had the election set for early-mid November. State officials sped through a cost review process, and legislative Democrats moved up the timeline in an effort to ride Newsom’s rising approval ratings.

Newsom’s “best opportunity to beat this reckless recall,” Democratic State Sen. Steve Glazer wrote more than a month ago, “is to have an early election.”

“No reason to delay and give opposition any more running room,” he added.

GOP lawmakers in the state are already crying foul regarding actions the governor took to get this done. Earlier this week, Newsom signed a bill that waives a 30-day period for the legislature to review the estimated costs for a special recall election if lawmakers appropriate funding. The same law earmarked $250 million for elections officials to administer the recall.

“Every child knows the word for changing the rules in the middle of the game. It’s cheating,” said GOP state lawmaker Kevin Kiley, who is considering a run to replace the governor. “Gavin Newsom is cheating in the recall, and this legislature is his willing accomplice.”

US Economy

The stock market did well over the past week. The Dow Jones increased to 34,786.35 on Friday, increasing by +352.51 points, or +1.02 percent over its June 25 close of 34,433.84. The S&P 500 increased by +71.64 points or +1.67 percent on Friday to another record high of 4,352.34. In addition, the Nasdaq increased on Friday by +1.94 percent.

Queen Victoria and Elizabeth Statues Toppled in Canada

Due to growing anger over the discovery of the remains of hundreds of children in unmarked graves at former indigenous schools, protesters in the Canadian city of Winnipeg toppled and defaced statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, July 1.

The action took place on Canada Day–a day when celebrations traditionally occur across the country–with a crowd chanting “no pride in genocide” before pulling down the statues.

The timing may have been intentional as Canada Day took place one week after news broke that the remains of more than 700 people, most of them Indigenous children, had been found at the site of a former school in Saskatchewan.

According to the New York Times, almost 1000 unmarked graves have been found across British Columbia and Saskatchewan, all at the sites of former government-funded “residential schools” mainly run by the Roman Catholic Church.

That night, one protester also removed the head of Queen Victoria and threw it into the nearby Assiniboine River. It was, however, fished out the next day by kayaker Tom Armstrong.

Police say they did not intervene when a small group toppled the statues during mostly peaceful events to avoid further inflaming the situation. They are investigating the incident.

Trump Heads to the Border

On Wednesday, June 30th, former President Donald Trump visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since he left office and accused current President Joe Biden of being the cause of the surge in illegal crossings.

“We did a hell of a job, and we had it down to really a science. It was down to a point where people just weren’t getting in unless they came in legally,” Trump said at a roundtable discussion with Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and local law enforcement.

“The drugs had dropped by 70, 80, 90% in some cases, and fentanyl, it’s true, it almost dropped to nothing for whatever reason. But I guess the reason was we were tough. This is a great group. And all they had to do was go to the beach. If they went to the beach and did nothing, they would have been fine.”

The indoor roundtable resembled events from Trump’s presidency and was followed by a trip to the physical border — where Trump spoke to a crowd of congressmen and journalists with a half-finished section of border wall as his backdrop.

“All Biden had to do is go to the beach,” Trump repeated near the incomplete border wall while claiming that “Biden is destroying our country.”

Bexar County Commissioner Goes After Elder Abuse

Bexar County Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry wants to spend $200,000 to address a backlog of cases involving elder abuse, fraud, and neglect affecting senior citizens.

“We need to protect this very vulnerable population that is preyed upon on a regular basis,” DeBerry says.

“The problem that we have is that you have senior citizens that have been waiting for justice. Unfortunately for a senior who might be 80 or 90 years old, time is running out regarding prosecution and restitution.”

She says these cases have been pending for far too long.

DeBerry is proposing the district attorney’s office add both a prosecutor and investigator to pursue crimes against seniors. She was told there are 100 cases backlogged, some going back eight years.

After she heard more about the issue at a recent Elder Abuse Task Force meeting, “I was on it in a hot second,” she says.

“This happens to thousands of seniors across Bexar County, and we need to do a better job protecting them.”

DeBerry estimates the cost of a top-level prosecutor at $100,000, with another $85,000 for an investigator. She says District Attorney Joe Gonzales is excited about the idea too.

DeBerry expects the positions to be approved this fall when the county budget is confirmed.