FBI Investigating Border Patrol Agent’s Death In West Texas

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelNovember 20, 2017 2:42 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A Border Patrol agent has died and another remains hospitalized after sustaining multiple injuries while patrolling in West Texas Sunday.

36-year-old Rogelio Martinez died after responding to activity in Van Horn, which is about 120 miles southeast of El Paso. The FBI is investigating what happened. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said her agency is “fully supporting the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this tragic event.” She added, “My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition.”

President Donald Trump addressed the officer’s death on Twitter, saying “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Events are being held throughout the state for the 2017 Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor Texans who died from violence against transgender people. The LGBTQ advocacy organization Equality Texas highlights four transgender Texans killed this year – Chyna Gibson, Kenne McFadden, Stephanie Montez, and Gwynevere River Song. Lou Weaver is the transgender programs coordinator for Equality Texas. He says the day is about commemorating people but also fighting for their rights.

“So I think a part of this is yes, we have to remember people – it is very somber, it is a funeral, like a mass funeral – so to speak,” he says. “But at the same time we need to remember that there are people that are trans and are alive and we need to care of them and be working to full equality for all of them.”

Weaver says you can honor transgender Texans even without attending one of the events. “You can memorialize them in your own way wherever you are because this is not just a big city thing,” he says.

Events are being held in cities like Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and Austin.

The Houston Police Department will start using a controversial driving maneuver in an effort to reduce deadly high-speed chases.

It’s called the Precision Immobilization Technique Maneuver.

St. John Barned-Smith, with the Houston Chronicle, got to see how this works first-hand during a demonstration on Friday. “The pursuing police will drive up next to the car they’re chasing and sort of match speed,” he says. “And then [the police vehicle will] nudge the back part of the car that they’re chasing which makes it sort of spin out and stop if done correctly.”

Barned-Smith says this driving technique is popular among some police departments, but not all. It can pose a danger to public safety.

“There is a sense in a lot of police departments that it can be very dangerous if it’s not done correctly,” he says, adding that research shows the PIT maneuver is safest between 35 and 45 miles per hour.

The Houston Police Department wouldn’t say what their speed cap was but that the technique wouldn’t be used at high speeds. At high speeds, it can cause vehicles to roll over leading to injuries and death.