Harris County DA To Ask For More Staff For Case Review, Houston’s Commission Against Gun Violence Releases Recommendations, And New Report On Hurricane Harvey

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Harris County DA Kim Ogg (center).

Harris County DA To Ask For More Staff For Case Review

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Thursday she will again ask for funding to hire additional prosecutors and investigators, citing the need to review more than 1,400 cases involving Gerald Goines, the Houston police officer who led a deadly drug raid on January 28.

The move comes after Ogg failed to secure an extra $20 million for her department’s budget from the Harris County Commissioners Court to hire 102 additional prosecutors and deal with a significant backlog. The commissioners voted against her request.

Ogg says that her current staff can handle the 27 active cases involving Goines, but she needs additional staff given all the cases spanning his career.

Goines has been released from the hospital but is still recovering from being shot. His own department thinks he lied during the investigation that led to the raid.

The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation into the no-knock raid.

Members of the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence.

Houston’s Commission Against Gun Violence Releases Recommendations

Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Commission Against Gun Violence released Thursday its recommendations for state lawmakers.

Turner created the commission following the shootings at Santa Fe High School and Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Included in those recommendations are:

  • Updating school building codes to include doors that lock from the inside without a key, classrooms and administrative offices without glass or transparent walls, fully functional and regularly tested announcement systems, security video of entrances and hallways accessible by law enforcement, and a medical kit designed for active shooter situations.
  • Requiring background checks for sales at gun shows.
  • Banning 3D printed firearms.
  • Establishing a “red flag law” allowing law enforcement to temporarily prevent access to weapons for people experiencing a crisis.

Turner said he’s charged his government affairs office with bringing the recommendations to lawmakers and state officials in Austin.

This file photo shows a Houston neighborhood that Hurricane Harvey flooded in summer 2017.

Report Finds Harvey Victims Are Likely To Experience Mental Health Difficulties

A report released Thursday found people who suffered damages to their homes during Hurricane Harvey are likely to experience mental health difficulties, such as intrusive or unintended thoughts about the storm.

That’s one of the main takeaways from the Hurricane Harvey Registry, which was launched in April 2018 and so far has surveyed more than 13,000 residents in Greater Houston.

The Registry is a joint venture by Rice University, Environmental Defense Fund, the Houston Health Department and health departments from Harris, Fort Bend, Victoria, Chambers and Montgomery counties.

Residents of Greater Houston are being encouraged to participate in the survey for months to come.

Here are some of the report’s highlights:

  • 59 percent thought about the storm when they didn’t intend to.
  • 55 percent had their homes damaged.
  • 41 percent experienced loss of income.
  • 34 percent experienced vehicle damage.
  • 26 percent suffered headaches or migraines.