Horns Up, Horns Down for Sept. 9: Foot chases and football sacrifices

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Horns Down: Gerrymandering aimed at minorities 

A federal panel of judges ruled Friday that the voting maps adopted by the Texas Legislature this summer will be used in next year’s primary elections, saying they needed more time to sort out a lawsuit over whether the maps limit minority representation. Even if we accept as true Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s claim that the maps were drawn on partisan lines rather than racial ones, we can’t ignore the effect such gerrymandering has on minority populations. With blacks and Hispanics tending to support the Democrats, there’s no such thing as a strictly partisan change.

Horns Up: Gridiron accountability

In keeping with the storied college football tradition of sacrificing coaching staff to appease the faithful, UT’s Manny Diaz, a defensive coordinator in the loosest sense of the word, was sent packing yesterday. It’s hard to win football games when your defense adopts the Betty White tackling method and opens holes you could sail barges through, so we’re glad to see a change in direction. Consider these fans appeased. At least until next Saturday.

Horns Down: Better footchase rules needed in Austin 

On Sunday the Austin American-Statesman ran an in-depth investigative piece on the danger involved in local police foot chases. In recent years, nearly 20 percent of fleeing suspects have been injured, including those who ran after committing relatively minor crimes. Remarkably, no disciplinary action has ever been taken against an officer for violating the department’s foot pursuit policy, which gives wide latitude to officers in making these admittedly split-second decisions. However, as the recent case of the purportedly accidental shooting death of Larry Eugene Jackson has demonstrated, APD needs to tighten its policy to prevent more unnecessary deaths.