News Roundup: Documentary About A Texas Arrest Scores An Oscar Nomination

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 25, 2018 2:06 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 violent arrest at the hands of Austin police officers is the subject of a documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award earlier this week.

From KUT News in Austin, Joseph Leahy has more about the film “Traffic Stop” that made the list of Oscar hopefuls.

The documentary is nominated for best short-subject documentary. It tells the story of Austin elementary school teacher Breaion King, who was stopped on East Riverside Drive for speeding in 2015.

In dash cam footage, the 26-year-old black woman is seen being pulled from her car by white police officer Bryan Richter who throws her to the ground twice before handcuffing her. Richter was later reprimanded for the incident and fired this week for using excessive force during a separate arrest.

The documentary also includes a dialogue about race and police between King and another officer while she’s being taken to jail. The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is March 4.

Texas gymnast Simone Biles is praising the Michigan judge who sentenced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for sexual assault.

More than 160 women and girls who were abused by Nassar spoke out against him in court over the last week.

Yesterday, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison. She told him that she had signed his death warrant and that she believes Nassar remains a danger.

Biles – a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist from Spring, Texas – thanked the judge on Twitter.

“I’m a judge who believes in life and rehabilitation when rehabilitation is possible,” Judge Aquilina said to Nassar at the sentencing. “I have many defendants who come back here and show me the great things they’ve done in their lives, after probation, after parole, I don’t find that’s possible with you.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott teamed up with the governors of California, Puerto Rico, and Florida to press Congress for disaster aid funding as their residents continue to recover from hurricanes and wildfires.

The letter, sent Wednesday, is addressed to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. House and Senate. It states “While no longer front page news in Washington, D.C. ongoing suffering becomes more acute the longer Congress waits to finish its work.”

The same day the letter was sent, Abbott announced that roughly $38 million in state funds would be used to pay for housing assistance in areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. He said the funds would be transferred from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ, to the General Land Office. A spokesperson for the TDCJ says the transfer of funds will have no impact on daily operations since it will be restored and adds “Like all Texans, we stand ready to assist with recovery efforts.”