Things That Matter

An Armed Trump Supporter Was Lurking Outside A Migrant Shelter With Knife And Gun But Police Let Him Go

Would it surprise you to hear, mere days after the massacre in directed at Latinos, that an armed Trump supporter was briefly detained in front of a migrant community center in El Paso? On the one hand, it’s shocking to hear that someone would be callous enough to pull a stunt like that. On the other hand, with today’s political climate … how surprising is it, really?

So, what happened?

Instagram / @Mind4Mud

Basically, a 21-year-old man drove his pickup from Houston, in anticipation of the President’s visit to El Paso last Wednesday. The man was parked outside the center when police discovered that he was armed with both a gun and a knife, and detained him. Authorities also found that the man had plastered his vehicle with an almost Rambo-like image of Trump carrying a large weapon, in addition to draping a campaign poster for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the back window. What. A. Scene.

While this scenario clearly raised a few alarms for the local authorities, while the man was briefly detained, he was eventually let go – along with his weaponry. Apparently his justification for carrying the gun and knife was that ‘he has rights.’ And sure, that’s not incorrect. Under the current Texan state law, both concealed and open carry is legally allowed. That being said, there is a caveat to such laws, in that permit is required for carrying a handgun. So, even though the detainee had committed a shocking, and highly inappropriate, act – it wasn’t illegal. Great

Why are we even entertaining the fact that all is fine, simply because it was legal?

Instagram / @fgy_ung

It’s time to be realistic. This happened only a few days after 22 people were shot to death at an El Paso Walmart. Most of the two dozen or so who were injured are still recovering from the attack. Approaching an event that was apparently designed to commemorate the memory of those who died, and honor those living, while armed with a gun and a knife is, at the least, wholly callous and disrespectful. And at the most … well, it could imply something much more sinister at work, with the intention of targeting a very vulnerable community.

Texas has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country.

Instagram / @nbcnews

The fact that Texas is a state that maintains open and concealed carry laws means that even if the shooter was caught before going on a murdering rampage, there wouldn’t have been much that authorities could have legally done to prevent the shooting. The fact that nothing has been done to reconsider these laws in light of the exponential number of mass shootings – and especially in respect to the El Paso shooting – is even more chilling. Whatever about good guys who can step in with guns, it would make much more sense if the bad guys didn’t have guns to use in the first place.

What about the people of El Paso?

Twitter / @WajahatAli

The other thing to consider is that El Paso is a ripe target for racially-motivated shootings due to its considerable Hispanic population – even with recent increases in security around the area. “The stakes are even higher now,” said Marisa Limon of the Hope Institute in a recent interview. “I don’t want to say that this will never happen again because the conditions are there … it’s open season against Latinos and immigrants.”

Many feel that it’s “open season” against Latinos and immigrants.

Twitter / @raortman

The reality is that, with divisive rhetoric such as ‘go back to where you came from’ coming from the President himself, it is difficult to conceive of ways to stem the tide of online and news media that echoes those same sentiments – and influences people to drive hours to El Paso while armed with a gun. “I want to believe we’ll go back to normal, but I don’t know that we ever will, if you’re Mexican American. We’re all on edge,” said Claudia Olivares, an El Paso local, in an interview this week.

But, it would be too easy to sit back, fold our arms, and say that there’s nothing to be done – or that this toxic environment will inevitably last forever. After all, the beauty of living in a democracy is knowing that an election can change everything. 2020 can’t come soon enough.

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Police Identify, Arrest Man Accused Of Destroying Beloved Jesus Statue In El Paso Church

Things That Matter

Police Identify, Arrest Man Accused Of Destroying Beloved Jesus Statue In El Paso Church

El Paso Police Department / elpasodiocese / Instagram

An important Jesus statue in an El Paso church has been destroyed and police have arrested the suspect. The statue in St. Patrick’s Cathedral was taken down and decapitated and the person police suspect to be responsible has been arrested.

Earlier this week, a 90-year-old Jesus statue was decapitated by a vandal who destroyed the St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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We are saddened to announce the vandalism at St. Patrick Cathedral earlier today. The Cathedral was vandalized this morning at around 10:00am. A suspect came into the sanctuary at St. Patrick Cathedral and destroyed the almost 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was located in the center behind the main altar of the church. The church was open and available for prayer. A suspect has been detained by the El Paso Police department. The police are currently continuing their investigation into the vandalism. The Rector of St. Patrick Cathedral, Fr. Trini Fuentes, said, “I am in shock and we at the Cathedral are heartbroken over such an unexpected situation.” Bishop Seitz also expressed his sadness about the damage caused to the historic Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue. “This statue is one of my favorite representations of Jesus—his arms open wide in welcome, his heart aflame with love for us. I would often take inspiration from this image as I prepared for Mass.” “As sad as I am to see a statue attacked and destroyed, I am grateful that it was not a living person,” Bishop Seitz added. “But a statue, particularly this statue, concretizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes. They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen,” he said. “At this point we do not know anything about the person who carried out this assault, but he certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace. I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers,” Bishop Seitz added. “I am devastated at this irreplaceable loss as I know members of this parish community and the whole Church of El Paso will be. In this moment we will reach out in confidence to the One this statue represented and I know he will console us,” Bishop Seitz concluded. St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland and our Diocese, Pray for us.

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The community was rocked when the damage was reported. The statue has been behind the church’s main altar for decades. The vandal attacked the statue at around 10:00 a.m. when the church was opened for prayer when the vandal attacked.

El Paso police have arrested a man in connection to the vandalism.

According to a press release from the police department, 30-year-old Isaiah Cantrell has been arrested for the vandalism. The damage to the statue is estimated to be about $25,000 and Cantrell’s bail has been set at $20,500. El Pasoans are angered at the man for destroying the irreplaceable statue.

“This statue is one of my favorite representations of Jesus—his arms open wide in welcome, his heart aflame with love for us,” Bishop Seitz said about the destruction of the historic Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. “I would often take inspiration from this image as I prepared for Mass.”

Statues like the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue are important to communities that are used to seeing them. The destruction has left clergymen and parishioners angered and saddened by the loss of the statue. It is a historic part of the El Paso religious community having overseen masses since before World War II.

The Diocese of El Paso is raising money to help St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The funds raised by the Diocese of El Paso and the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso will be used on the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The money raised will be used to fix the shattered statue as well as add security and do renovations to the famed church.

“I am devastated at this irreplaceable loss as I know members of this parish community and the whole Church of El Paso will be,” Bishop Seitz said. “In this moment we will reach out in confidence to the One this statue represented and I know he will console us.”

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Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

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Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

Federal Judge Esther Salas is preparing to bury her 20-year-old son. Her son was killed by a disgruntled disguised as a FedEx driver on his birthday weekend. Judge Salas’ husband was hospitalized after being shot multiple times. She is asking for better protection got federal judges and their families.

Judge Esther Salas is demanding better protection and privacy for federal judges.

The video opens with Judge Salas explaining the events that unfolded that day. The emotion grows as she talks about her son finally turning 20 and his excitement to be with his parents. She recalls her son saying that he just wanted to stay and talk to her where the doorbell rings.

Judge Salas remembers her son running up the stairs to answer the door, curious about who it could be. When the door opened, Judge Salas heard gunshots and someone screaming “no.” When she got to her family, she learned that someone dressed as a FedEx delivery person came to the door and opened fire. The son jumped in front of his dad to protect him and died from a bullet wound to the chest.

As a result of the killing, Judge Salas is asking for politicians to do something to protect federal judges. As it stands, the address and other personal information on federal judges are readily available online. Judge Salas wants a way for that information to be hidden from the public.

“At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable,” Judge Salas said in the video. “My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”

She added: “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain. We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”

Judge Salas’ video is a hard video to watch as her raw emotion breaks through.

It is devastating to have to bury a child. It is something no parent should have to do. For Judge Salas, she is burying a child that was taken from her in a senseless act of violence perpetrated by a self-proclaimed anti-feminist attorney.

People on social media are standing with the judge in asking for better data protection to save lives.

Data issues have long plagued the Internet and activists want to change that. For many, the issue is protecting data from falling into the wrong hands or for companies, like Facebook, to profit off of our data. For Judge Salas, it is a matter of life or death to protect her colleagues on the bench and their families.

READ: The Government Accountability Office States That ICE And The FBI Are Using DMV Data To Track Undocumented Immigrants

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