Here are things you need to know for Tuesday, Sept. 15:
1. ‘We’re very close.’: Why Harris County judge says she’s not yet ready to lower COVID-19 threat level but could do so soon
As key metrics like the infection rate and ICU hospitalizations trend downward for the first time in months, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says it’s not yet time to reduce the county’s COVID-19 threat level.
At present, Harris County is at the highest threat level: Red level 1.
2. City of Houston launches new initiative to combat human trafficking, domestic violence
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new initiative that will target human trafficking and domestic violence in Houston Monday afternoon.
Turner said he is expanding the mayor’s office of human trafficking to include domestic violence. He said the office’s new name will be Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, which will be led by Minal Davis.
The mayor’s decision to add domestic violence to the office is due to both being forms of gender-based violence.
3. Bill honoring Harris County Dep. Dhaliwal who was killed in line of duty passes unanimously in US House
A new bill honoring Harris County Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was killed in the line of duty in September 2019, passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives Monday.
Dhaliwal was killed during a traffic stop in Cypress, Texas on Sept. 27, 2019. In 2015, he made history as the first Texas law enforcement officer to be allowed to wear the articles of his Sikh faith, including a turban and beard, while in uniform.
4. Teachers from these Houston-area school districts made most complaints to union of COVID-19 protocol violations, discrepancies
The Texas State Teachers Association announced Monday that its members had reported hundreds of COVID-19 protocol discrepancies or violations in the first couple weeks of the school year.
“In an online survey, 664 TSTA members from 135 districts around the state reported a variety of district practices and deficiencies, including personnel policies, which violate recommended guidelines or best practices for school safety during this health emergency,” TSTA officials wrote in a press release Monday.
5. Baytown police officer indicted in fatal shooting of Pamela Turner
A Baytown police officer was indicted Monday in connection with the fatal shooting of Pamela Turner last year.
A Harris County grand jury indicted Officer Juan Delacruz on a charge of first-degree aggravated assault by a public servant in the May 13, 2019, shooting.
According to investigators, Delacruz encountered Turner, 44, while on patrol and knew that she had warrants out for her arrest. Turner resisted arrest and was able to get hold of Delacruz’s Taser and shock him with it, investigators said. Investigators said that was when Delacruz fired, killing Turner.