FOX 26 Breaking Bond Series – Segment 8
Segment 8 of our Breaking Bond Series with FOX 26 Houston.
Once again, another violent offender is let out on bond even after his mom pleads with the court not to allow him to bond out. Now, Pope might be looking at a potential life sentence resulting from a string of violent crimes, including his shootout with Houston Police Department officers just 3 days ago.
The Balanced Voice Podcast with Rania Mankarious Kicks Off Season 2
Today, Crime Stoppers of Houston kicked off season 2 of it’s podcast, The Balanced Voice Podcast. This is a podcast for those who desire to have balanced conversations that offer real solutions to today’s most pressing issues. Join the conversation every Wednesday at 10am.
This week on Episode 15, we welcome Crime Stoppers of Houston’s very own Director of Victim Services and Victim Advocacy, Andy Kahan, to discuss the shocking trend of the repeat release of violent offenders on bond. In their conversation, Rania, Andy and expert contributor, Jennifer Hohman, break down how this disturbing trend correlates to rising crime rates and affects human trafficking victims.
Watch below or listen on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and iHeart!
Hosted by Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious @theraniareport
Powered by Crime Stoppers of Houston
Produced by Real News Public Relations, Sydney Zuiker, Elizabeth McChesney and Tania Cruz
Press Release: Standing for Victims, Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious Supports Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan and the Community Amidst Concerning Commissioner’s Court Session
HOUSTON (November 10, 2020) – For more than 40 years now, Crime Stoppers of Houston has worked tirelessly to solve crime in our community and advocate for the many victims who have been impacted by crime in our area. In late 2019, Crime Stoppers’ Director of Victim Services, Andy Kahan, noticed a concerning pattern with defendants charged with murder: many of them had been released on multiple felony bonds, bond forfeiture and/or a personal bond. He began studying the issue and in mid-March of this year began tracking the issue based on data from court records.
In each case Andy tracks, the victims were killed by a Harris County suspect who:
- was a defendant who had been released on multiple felony bonds; or
- had a bond forfeiture reinstated; or
- had a motion to revoke bond denied; and/or
- was released on a PR Bond.
On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Andy Kahan appeared before Commissioner’s Court with the intention of sharing this critical data and offering support. We thought the information would be relevant to maintaining public safety while navigating critical changes to felony bail reform. Andy was invited as a guest and in doing so, represented himself, Crime Stoppers of Houston, and the countless victims impacted by crime in Harris County.
The data presented by Andy was just that – untainted data from court records. More importantly, Andy had information regarding the over 60 victims who lost their lives (three of which were pregnant) as a direct result of county’s push to continually release defendants, including many violent defendants, under the notion that bail holds them unfairly.
Andy presented his findings on the Zoom session but was then muted leaving him with no opportunity to reply. He was labeled an “interested party” with an “axe to grind” who was only sharing data to engage in “fear mongering.”
“As the largest public safety nonprofit in our city, we were extremely disappointed with how Andy and Crime Stoppers were treated. Common sense indicates that public safety is at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back into the community; our community members see this and they are talking about it. By muting Andy and maligning his intentions, our organization’s efforts were dismissed, the voices of the many victim families Andy was there to represent were muted, and the rising concerns stemming from the very large community we serve were disregarded.” said Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious.
Crime Stoppers CEO sent Commissioner’s Court a letter in response to the October 27th meeting. To view the letter, click here.
Crime is up, with some residents saying it has never been as bad as it now. The increasing crime rates detrimentally affect all of us. Andy and Crime Stoppers will continue to work around the clock on this public safety issue and take proactive measures to make our community safer.
Today, we are releasing Andy’s report that outlines the over 60 men, women and children who have been killed by suspects released on a variety of bonds, including felony and personal bond(s) from Harris County. View report here. This report includes victim names and photographs, as well as the location of where they were murdered by Precinct.
Crime Stoppers will continue to aggressively work with partners and citizens, law enforcement and victim families, media and colleagues, to ensure the utter most safety of everyone who calls Harris County home. We encourage the community to get involved and follow the work of Andy @akahancrimesto1 and Crime Stoppers @CrimeStopHOU.
To learn more about Crime Stoppers of Houston, including their Victim Services and Advocacy Program, visit crime-stoppers.org.
Press Release: Crime Stoppers of Houston Urges Harris County Delegation to Take Action this Upcoming Legislative Session on the Issue of Bond Reform to Protect Victims and the Community
HOUSTON (August 20, 2020) – Over 50 people have been killed in Harris County over the last two years as a result of well intentioned, but poorly implemented bail bond reforms. Ashton Broussard had four prior felony convictions and was granted two PR bonds in the days leading up to an altercation where he is alleged to have taken a gun from a security officer before being shot by a Houston PD Sergeant. Cedgadrick Harris was released on a PR bond after allegedly assaulting Kimberley Robinson. He then failed to appear for a routine court hearing, but was still granted a second PR bond. He then allegedly tampered with a government record and was granted a felony bond despite having obviously violated his previous PR bonds. After being released on two PR bonds and a felony bond, Harris kicked down Robinson’s door and shot her to death, injuring her 4-year old daughter in the process. Angel Cardenas was released on a PR bond following his arrest on capital murder and tampering with evidence charges after an alleged accomplice died of gunshot wounds suffered during a shootout following a gun store robbery.
Due to these cases and many others, Crime Stoppers of Houston supports the efforts of Senator Paul Bettencourt to prevent people from being released from jail on multiple personal bonds and Senator John Whitmire’s ongoing efforts to reform the bail bond system and establish a statewide, standardized system that sets bond based on risk. These changes would result in significant improvements to the pretrial release system in Texas by ensuring equitable treatment of individuals accused of crimes and reducing the likelihood of violent repeat offenders being released back on to the streets.
Time and time again, we’re seeing the same defendants released on multiple bonds, continually being arrested for additional felony crimes and yet are still getting out of jail on new bonds. The last statistical data Crime Stoppers received six months ago from local law enforcement officials indicate over 4,000 defendants have been granted bonds for violent and sexually related offenses. Public safety is at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back to the community. All of us who live and work in Harris County should be on the same page on behalf of public safety. Increasing crime rates detrimentally affect all of us. Improving public safety has to be a non-partisan issue.
Crime Stoppers of Houston urges the Harris County delegation to the Texas Legislature to take action this upcoming legislative session to protect victims and the community by making public safety a central component of any bond reform legislation considered during the upcoming legislative session. We cannot continue to release dangerous individuals on to the streets. As Kimberley Robinson’s mother, Janet Robinson, said: “when you keep letting these people out are you thinking about the person that’s supposed to be protected?”
For additional information or to schedule a media interview, please contact Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crime Stoppers of Houston’s Response to the Death of George Floyd
As Crime Stoppers stands as the leading public safety organization, bridging the gap between law enforcement
and the community, we have spent a great deal of time processing the events that unfolded following the
horrific killing of George Floyd.
We all agree that the murder of George Floyd, and countless others, were tragic yet utterly preventable. The
officers involved were rightfully removed from their positions and criminally charged.
As a public safety organization, we support law enforcement. We do not support police brutality.
It is important to recognize the real dangers and threats that law enforcement officers face on a daily basis. With
that being said, we fully support a national response that unifies the operational practices of the 18,000 law
enforcement agencies in our nation, to include a comprehensive review and outline of all police policies and
practices regarding use of force, along with the discipline and removal of law enforcement officers when
needed and the parameters around rehiring officers who may have been terminated from other departments.
Additionally, we support new and unified techniques for training current and future officers, increasing
accountability for excessive use of force and improved data collection.
Law enforcement in our area represents the diversity of ethnicity and cultures that make up Houston. We
know that many first responders have paid the ultimate price on behalf of the citizens of Houston and Harris
County without regard to race, gender or creed.
Crime Stoppers is an organization made up of the community, represented by all and serving all, without
question. We hear the outcries of systemic racism and urge communities to come together, to listen, to respect
one another and to heal.
We understand our nation was built on peaceful protests and applaud those who are using their voices for the
betterment of all. We applaud their efforts and believe their actions can be a catalyst for positive change.
Our staff hears the stories of victims daily and a re concerned about the call for a full defunding or dismantling
of law enforcement. A systematic approach to evaluating law enforcement practices and time spent investing in
and supporting complimentary agencies is needed. Now is the time to give our nation’s law enforcement
agencies support, guidance and accountability in order to create a system of checks and balances that measure
law enforcement response.
Crime Stoppers of Houston has been focused on solving and preventing crime for forty years. We look forward
to being a part of this critical public safety conversation as the community seeks to enact positive change and