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Galveston County Sheriff Refuses To Release Documents In Death Of Gay Man In Custody

Jesse Jacobs died in custody of the Galveston County Sheriff.
Jesse Jacobs died in custody of the Galveston County Sheriff.

Galveston County Sheriff Refuses To Release Documents In Death Of Gay Man In Custody

(HOUSTON, TX) – The Galveston County Sheriff is refusing to release documents, any videos and the intake form of a gay man that died while in custody at the Galveston County Jail back in March 2015 fearing a lawsuit from the family. A move that shows not all law enforcement agencies are ready to be completely transparent.

On March 6, 2015, Jesse C. Jacobs was processed into the Galveston County Jail to serve 15 days for a second DWI offense. He served about half of that, and was pronounced dead on March 14, 2015 at University of Texas – Medical Branch in Galveston after being transported from the Galveston County Jail.

Sheriff Henry Trochesset told local ABC affiliate KTRK-13 he would not release anything out of fear of litigation from the family. As protests and riots continue around the country, and in Texas over the Sandra Bland case; the Jacob’s case is being hidden from the family and the public by Galveston officials.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

The Jacobs family is outraged over the lack of transparency. “I’m angry,” says Jacobs’ father, also named Jesse. “Because as far as I’m concerned, they executed my son just as sure as if they put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.” Jesse told Miya Shay of KTRK-13.

In accordance to the law, the Sheriff of Galveston County must disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions, which protect interests such as personal privacy, and national security. None of the nine exemptions would allow for the Sheriff to withhold information that should be made available to the public and family of Jacobs.

One exemption would be an on-going criminal investigation into the death of Jacobs. The Galveston County Sheriff has stated that the cause of death in the autopsy report is natural causes.

KTRK-13 asked Sheriff Trochesset if he believes everything was done by the book. “It appears that way,” he answered. Trochesset told About Magazine ‘he hasn’t worked inside the jail it self in about 30 years.’

Will Beyoncé Defend LGBT Rights In Her Hometown Of Houston?

Beyonce

Will Beyoncé Defend LGBT Rights In Her Hometown Of Houston?

Will Beyoncé Defend LGBT Rights In Her Hometown Of Houston?. Beyoncé is undoubtedly one of Houston’s favorite gay icons and possibly the biggest star from the ‘Lone Star’ state. She has openly supported L.G.B.T. equality in the past. In Houston’s where the equality fight has landed on the national front door step, supporters are calling in the ‘Star’ to bring awareness.

The negativity brought on by a group conservative religious activist and pastors are attempting to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. For the past 16 months the battle has been tied up in the courts.

Enter Beyoncé, Houston native.

Combined with an estimated 42.3 million followers, Beyoncé has a large stage to offer assistance and gather further support of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Nicknamed HERO, which protects an array of Houstonians from discrimination. But will she?

Supporters from around the world using the hashtag #BeyBeAHERO, trying to persuade the Houston native to publish a post that calls attention to the HERO campaign. Additionally encouraging voters to keep the ordinance by voting in November. Could her involvement make an impact?

If Beyoncé decides to stand up for her LGBT fans and speak out in favor of keeping HERO. With a single post to her over forty million Instagram followers, Beyoncé could change the debate over Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance

“BEYONCÉ IS A HOMETOWN HERO, AND NOW WE NEED HER TO BE OUR HERO,” 

“An Instagram post may not seem like a big deal to any of us individually, but coming from the most known Houstonian, it would be a game changer,” said Carlos Maza, who started the campaign and works for Media Matters.

In 2014 Houston’s City Council passed H.E.R.O, designed to protect individuals from discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, and sexual orientation. But this is the South, and it’s never that easy!

“Beyoncé could change the debate over Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance and mobilize support for protecting LGBT Houstonians from discrimination,” LGBT Program Director of Media Matters Carlos Maza told the Huffington Post.

“GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION THAT BEYONCÉ’S SUPPORT FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY HAS GOTTEN IN THE PAST, IT’S NOT HARD TO IMAGINE THE KIND OF POSITIVE IMPACT HER SUPPORT FOR HERO MIGHT HAVE ON A LOCAL ELECTION.”

So far no word from Bey! Stay tuned!

Texas AG Faces Contempt Hearing Over Failure To Recognize Gay Marriage

Texas Attorney General ken Paxton
Ken Paxton speaks after he was sworn in as the Texas attorney general, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

According to Cole, when he asked the state to amend his spouse’s death certificate, the state cashed his check but refused to complete the paperwork. A Department of State Health Services official wrote, “Until the ruling is fully reviewed, we will not be able to know the impact, if any, on the process to file or amend death certificates. We will keep your documentation in a pending file and will advise you once a determination is made,” according to the Chronicle.

Garcia also ordered Kirk Cole, the state’s interim director at the Department of State Health Services, to issued an amended death certificate for Stone-Hoskin’s spouse, James Stone-Hoskins, according to the Chronicle.

Paxton and Cole must appear in court next week so that Garcia can determine whether the two officials violated his July ruling prohibiting the the state from restricting same-sex marriage.

Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman for Paxton, told the Chronicle that the court must determine in a separate case whether the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage was retroactive. Meyer said that Paxton’s office would be filing a response to Garcia’s order in court.

Earlier this week, Paxton was also indicted on felony securities fraud charges.

Tight Jeans, Belt Buckles, and Rhinestones Dazzled “Neon Boot” Preview Party Last Night

Cowboy boots, belt buckles and rhinestones last night replaced the True Religion jeans and Dolce shirts for the preview party of the all-new “Neon Boots” in Houston.

Tight Jeans, Belt Buckles, and Rhinestones Dazzled “Neon Boots” Preview Party Last Night…But Nothing Out Shinned This New Country Western Dance Hall!!

Reminding me of the Brooks and Dunn song “Neon Moon”, this old rundown bar across from the railroad tracks…. is no longer!  Well, the tracks are still there. But ain’t nothing run down any longer at this mega-dance hall.
Located just a half “Red Bull” or  ”one cigarette from Montrose” outside 610 on old Hempstead Highway, Neon Boots sits off the highway in a oasis of it’s own, hidden enough off the old highway, to feel the sense of county tranquility.
Last night, arriving at 7:30pm, the parking lot was full with big dullys, parked next to Cadillacs and BMW’s. There is just something to be said about that. I almost looked on the side to see if I would find a horse trailer.
The historic Esquire Ballroom was once again a shining star. Full of cowboys and cowgirls, wearing their “Conway Twitty” tight fitting jeans and excited for their first glimpse of what is being called the largest LGBT Country and Western Dancehall in the Lone Star State.
The owners, a group of six individuals have set the standard of what “Country Should Be”. The old ballroom that once was a majestic jewel for Houston, and home to such acts as Willie Nelson, George Jones and Pasty Cline, has been transformed in to a spectacular Houston version of Billy Bob’s Texas, Dallas’ “Round Up” and the old Brazo’s River Bottoms all merged in one. I even bet Micky Gilly would approve.
Taking 10,000 plus square feet, and making it a warm and inviting place that country music lovers, and people that love country western dancing want to go, would be an up hill battle, one would think! Not apparently! This place, from the moment you park, you feel you have been transported into another world. One that takes you away from the big city lights of Houston, and into a small country town. Hell, you can even see the stars in the sky from the parking lot.
Walking thru the front door, besides the smiling face of the owners welcoming all the guests last night, is a magnificent giant Texas flag hanging on the stage. “You can almost visualize Patsy Cline on that stage,” says Neon Boots co-owner Jim Moore. “There’s such an amazing history here. The renovation has truly been a labor of love for us.” You can still smell the fresh paint, and  the history,  of country music that has walked where you currently are.
Neon Boots has a total of three full bars. One in the main room near the front entrance that hosts a total of 4 bartenders, a bar at the rear of the dance floor that has another 2 or 3 bartenders, and of course the a “quiet” room set off to one side of the dance floor, but do not fear. There are windows with a great view of the entire hall, a private jukebox and seating. This room has another 3 bartenders. Photos line the walls of the greats that have once performed here.
Tonight, the country legend (Neon Boots) has turned the BMW and Cadillac drivers into good ole country boys and girls. Sipping those cold ones, and eating BBQ!
The original gentleman that built this icon, Raymond Proske who is 89 years old, and his daughter made an appearance earlier in the evening to take a peak at what was “big portion of his life”, and seemed to be very pleased. His daughter Karen had this to say:
“Dad and I were so impressed with the new look you’ve given to the old Esquire. Dad had not seen inside the place since he closed it in 1995 and you can’t imagine how much today meant to him – and to I. He said y’all made him feel like a king. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Seeing the Esquire Room made a real impact on dad.” She continues ”He just didn’t know what to say. The Esquire was his life for 40 years and he missed it so much when he closed. He has so many memories and now it’s like his dream will live on in Neon Boots. We know that Neon Boots is going to be a great success.”
“Went to the exclusive pre-opening tonight. The crowd was great. This is a first class dancehall like none I have seen, with a huge dance floor, super lighting, lots of bars and servers, and a wonderful interior, with music that moved the crowd. A lots of friendly and happy faces.” States Robert Scott a patron that attended.
“From Meyerland it was 12 miles of mostly freeway and at 7PM took 15 minutes. Super location with lots of parking”. He adds. So one must ask, what’s all this fuss about “LGBT Bars can not survive outside the loop?”- If last night was any indication, then that old myth is out the window.
The show of support from community leaders at the preview party goes a long way in the un-said world of gay politics. Gone are the days that bar owners hated each other just because they owned another bar. Spotted in the crowd of guests were George Komar, owner of George Country Sports Bar. Woody Gould, owner of Guava Lamp. Jose Apodaca, Operations Manager for Charles Armstrong Investments. Jack Berger of Outsmart Magazine.  Carol WyattTara DionAJ Mistretta of My Gay Houston. William Clevenger, co-owner of Rich’s Nightclub. Former owners of the BRB, Cliff Kitten and Darrin Winner. Also seen sporting their country music love was Karen Derr, Clay Kirby, Aaron Parrish, Darrin Brindle, Mark Eggleston, Dennis Beadle, Jonathan Westerman, Don Gill, Michael White, John Papagiannopoulos, and David Blanco.
So until next time I get dust off my cowboy boots, Im stuck… back in my city boy life. Dreaming of the time, I can be country again.