THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. CLOSED BORDER CHECKPOINTS MAY BE CAUSE OF LAS CRUCES HOMICIDE INCREASE; CHAVES COUNTY TAKES ACTION
El Paso/Las Cruces KVIA-TV reported on the recent sharp increase in Las Cruces homicides -- most of them narcotics related -- and asked what role the closing of border checkpoints may play.
In the last six weeks, Doña Ana County had seven fatal shootings; five in Las Cruces and two in the county. Most of them have been drug related according to law enforcement officials.
“The increase in violence in Las Cruces and the increase in shooting incidents, we are concerned by it,” Patrick Gallagher, the Las Cruces Police chief, said. "There were five homicides in June alone. Four of the five of them were narcotics related.”
And for several months now, Border Patrol checkpoints that screen for drug trafficking along the highways have been closed due to the migrant surge. That's raised the question, does the fact the checkpoints are closed play a part in the dramatic increase?
“We’ll continue to analyze these shootings and deploy officers and investigative resources in such a manner as to, as to solve them, but more importantly to prevent them," Gallagher said.
Even the Democrat Dona Ana County Sheriff acknowledged that there is a connection:
Neither Gallagher nor Stewart believe the checkpoints being closed is the sole cause, Stewart indicating the entire border crisis likely plays a part.
“With asylum seekers coming to the border and throwing up their hands to every border patrol agent they can see, the cartel is a very active observer," Stewart said. "They’re opportunists.”
Both LCPD and the Sheriff's office are working to minimize the drug related crime, the Sheriff saying her deputies are filling in the gaps left open by the checkpoints being closed.
As a reminder, it's been 189 days since Gov. Lujan Grisham took office and in that time has continued to deny the existence of a border crisis.
Perhaps she should ask the county sheriff, a fellow Democrat.
Meanwhile, Chaves County takes action to prevent itself from becoming another version of Dona Ana County:
From KRQE News:
Another New Mexico county is taking a stance against funding for asylum seekers.
Chaves County Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that says the county will not allocate any resources or property to asylum seekers. It also asks the U.S. Border Patrol to reopen checkpoints in the area.
Commissioner Dara Dana says she approved the proposal because the county has seen a huge increase in illegal activity.
2. DEMOCRAT DISTRICT ATTORNEY MAKING $120,000 CLAIMS POVERTY AND GETS ASSIGNED A PUBLIC DEFENDER IN CRIMINAL CASE
From New Mexico In Depth:
Francesca Estevez is too poor to pay for a lawyer.
That’s according to state District Judge Douglas Driggers of Las Cruces, who made the finding in a May 1 court order appointing the public defender’s office to represent Estevez as prosecutors pursue alleged violations of the Government Misconduct Act against her.
The judge didn’t ask Estevez for any proof — and she didn’t offer any — that she is “indigent,” despite earning $120,000 a year as district attorney for Grant, Luna and Hidalgo counties, according to people familiar with the case and New Mexico In Depth’s review of the file.
Driggers’ order surprised Bennet Baur, the state’s chief public defender, who learned of the appointment from a reporter in mid-June.
“Normally if someone is appointing a public defender, you would expect that they would tell the public defender,” he said.
Baur described the move as “concerning” and questioned whether Estevez would qualify for the public defender’s services given her salary.
“Our job is to represent poor people, people who can’t afford an attorney,” Baur told New Mexico In Depth, describing the mandate for his taxpayer-funded office spelled out in state law. “Those who can afford an attorney should hire one.”
Last year, Democrat Estevez pleaded guilty to reckless driving and disorderly conduct after a witness captured her weaving across U.S. Highway 180 in a state-owned vehicle. One officer thought she was "loaded" because she "almost fell down."
3. GOVERNOR JUMPS ON KAEPERNICK TRAIN
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham inserted herself into the manufactured Betsy Ross flag controversy instead of siding with the vast majority of Americans who stand for the flag, including New Mexico veterans fought for our flag and our freedoms.
From the Washington Times:
New Mexico’s governor is backing Nike in its furor over its canceling a U.S.-flag themed sneaker as offensive.
On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey scrapped tax incentives his state had offered the sneaker giant to locate a plant there, calling the flag-sneaker cancellation “a shameful retreat … Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours.”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham retweeted Mr. Ducey’s denunciation of Nike and sent the firm an invitation to make a flag-free sneaker line in her state.
“Hey @Nike, let’s talk,” she wrote.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Nike cancelled the shoe — which had a U.S. flag with 13 stars on each heel, commonly called the “Betsy Ross flag” — after it had been teased on social media and some pre-shipments even made at the demand of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick told Nike that he and others consider the flag an offensive symbol of a slave society.
Just the facts:
Two of the 13-star flags were included, very prominently, during Barack Obama's second inauguration in 2012.
The Anti-Defamation League -- the nation’s leading authority on antisemitism and all hate speech in general, has never received one complaint about the flag; its executive director said, “It’s not a hate symbol."